Kids-health is a site packed with hints and tips to keep you and the family healthy.
The Food Pyramid
So here it is. The food pyramid. You may be surprised to know that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Ancient Egyptians. Even though they were quite partial to the odd pyramid or two, theirs were made of rock and this pyramid is not.
In fact, this pyramid is made of imaginary food. At the bottom are cereals, bread and potatoes. They are at the bottom, because they deserve the biggest portion of the pyramid. You see, for a healthy diet you should eat more cereal, bread and potatoes than any other food. Six portions a day is ideal. So you might have 2 weetabix for breakfast, 2 slices of bread as your lunch sandwich and a dollop of mashed potato with your dinner. What kind of food do you eat from this food group?
The next part of the pyramid is for fruit and vegetables. You might think they are yukky, but believe it or not, you should eat at least 4 portions each day, try and eat more if you can because they are nutritious and full of vitamins. So you might have a glass of fresh orange juice with your breakfast, an apple at morning break, carrot sticks with your lunch and lovely green peas with your dinner.
Moving up we get to milk, cheese , eggs and yogurt. Aim for 3 or more portions every day. Have milk on your breakfast cereal, a piece of cheese in your lunchtime packup and a yummy fruit yogurt after your evening meal. You might find it really easy to fit this food group into your daily diet because the shops sell a fabulous range of yogurts, cheeses and milks to appeal to kids.
Nearly at the top and you can see meat, fish and alternatives. Alternatives mean stuff that isn’t meat or fish but contains the same nutrients. Some people prefer to leave meat-eating to carnivorous animals and choose a vegetarian option that doesn’t involve meat at all. They like to eat foods like tofu or pulses and nuts instead. Whatever you choose, aim for 2 portions every day. So have a piece of chicken or tuna in your sandwich at lunchtime and a tasty pork chop for dinner.
So at the top of the pyramid are the things you should enjoy – but only a little at a time. You can have a biscuit (but not three!) a small glass of fizzy drink as a treat on Saturdays and sweeties once or twice a week. A cake is fine and so are crisps but don’t eat them every day. If you eat too many of the things from the top of the pyramid you may have problems with your weight or your teeth. The food up here is loaded with fat, sugar and calories and should only be eaten in little portions once or twice a day. Now in ancient Egypt, the Pharaohs covered the very top of their pyramids with polished white stone and a thin layer of gold. Maybe they didn’t have very much of the gold. So at least the Pharaohs and the nutrition bigwigs agree on one thing –
“We don’t have very much of the stuff at the top of that pyramid!”