Eating for Good Health Comprehension

Eating the right foods is one good way to stay well. But what are the best foods for you? Meat, fish, grains, nuts, fruits, milk, and vegetables are important. People do not always agree about what should go on our plates.

The government has made a new chart about food called the new "Food Pyramid." The old chart showed people how many servings of food to eat. The new one shows people what types of food to eat and then they can figure out how much they need. The new food pyramid is very simple and general.

Carbohydrates for fuel
The old chart told us to eat many serving of carbohydrates (starches). These are foods such as pasta, grains, and rice. The cereal you eat for breakfast is a carbohydrate. So is the bread on your sandwich. Carbohydrates give you quick energy to burn.

But too much can be unhealthy. The new food chart says we should try to eat whole grains. How much you need depends on your age and how much you move around. A third grader should eat about 4 or 5 ounces of grains a day. A slice of bread or a cup of cereal is 1 ounce.

Protein for Growth
The new food chart also gives other helpful facts about food groups. Third graders need 3 cups of milk a day. They should also eat 5 ounces of protein a day. Proteins are found in meat, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. These foods help you to grow. They also help the body to heal itself.

Fats, Too
We need some fat in our diet, too. Healthy fats are found in nuts, meat, and dairy food like milk and cheese. The body uses fats slowly. We should not eat big servings of fats because a little goes a long way.

Don't Forget Fiber!
Fiber is part of a good eating plan, too. Fiber is found in cereals, fruits, bread, and vegetables. Fiber helps the body digest food. You should eat about 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables a day.

A Balanced Diet
You can see that a balance of foods is best. Now you understand the food groups. You can plan healthful meals and snacks. Eating well can be a lot of fun!

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Math Teacher, ESL, CTE
Annunciation Catholic School

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