Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Food Pyramid and Nutrition for Children by Carl C.

According to the food pyramid, your child should be receiving a big amount of grains since this can be converted into energy for the body. Toddlers should get 3 ounces of this while school age children should eat anywhere from four to seven ounces depending on the age and weight of the child. Grains are found in foods that contain whole wheat such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, bran etc. The following are all equivalent to one ounce:

* 1 slice of bread or 1 mini bagel
* ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, cereal or oatmeal
* 7 pcs. Round or square crackers
* 1 six-inch tortilla
* 1 four-inch pancake or 2 small pancakes

Vegetables and fruits are needed in the daily diet because of the vitamins and minerals that they provide. These help the body combat diseases and free radicals. Toddlers need to get 2 cups of fruits and vegetables while school aged children need anywhere from1 ½ cups to 3 cups depending on size and age. Here are some examples of measurements equal to 1 cup:

* 2 cups green leafy vegetables = 1 cup raw vegetables
* 2 medium carrots
* 1 large sweet potato
* 1 medium potato
* 1 medium orange, apple, pear or banana
* 8 big strawberries
* 1 watermelon wedge
* 1 large peach

Eat, Fish, beans, poultry and nuts provide your kids with the necessary protein for brain and body development. You can find this in meat and white meat, various types of beans such as kidney, chickpeas, lentils etc. It is also found in nuts such as walnuts, pecans, almond s and others. For toddlers two ounces are needed daily while school aged kids depending on their age and size will need anywhere from 3 to 6 ounces. Here are some examples of one ounce measurements:

* 1 egg
* 1 tbsp. peanut butter
* ¼ cup cooked dry beans
* 12 almonds
* 7 walnut halves
* ¼ of a chicken breast
* ½ of a lean burger
* ½ a small trout

As for dairy products, these include, milk, cheese yogurt and other products that are made from these things such as pudding. This is an important part of the children's diets because it provides calcium, Vitamins D, protein and Vitamin A that is needed for bones and skin development. Toddlers are recommended to take in 2 cups daily while school aged children will need anywhere from 2 to 3 cups depending on how old they are and what they weigh. The following are some examples of dairy equivalents in cups

* 8 fluid ounces = 1 cup (whether for milk or yogurt)
* 2/3 cups shredded cheese
* 3 scoops ice cream
* 3 slices processed cheese

Trying to master the equivalent portion sizes can be quite tasking at the beginning; but the more that you incorporate this in your daily meals and the more that you practice healthy eating habits then the more natural things like these become for you and you children.

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