Nutrition Food Groups

Your MyPlate 

Food Groups: You want your kids to eat out of each group everyday.

  1. Grains Group:
  2. Make at least ½ of grains 'whole'
  3. Vegetable Group: Vary veggies! Learn what parts of veggies are most nutritious like darker, leafy greens and the florets on broccoli are much more healthful than the stems.
  4. Fruit Group: Focus on fruits and even use them as “desserts” for kids. Lightly sprinkle brown sugar on strawberries or add a no sugar peanut butter to dip apple slices.
  5. Dairy Group: Calcium, calcium, calcium! Grow up with strong bone health.
  6. Protein Foods Group: Protein is wonderful, but keep it LEAN.

Avoid empty calories, which are calories from solid fats and added sugars. These both add calories to food but give no essential nutrients, if any. Discovering what foods are or contain solid fats and added sugars can help you choose what you put in your body more wisely.

Solid fats are still solid at room temperature. Butter is an example. Solid fats can be found naturally in foods but are more likely added when foods are processed. Avoided processed foods altogether is a great goal when feeding your family. Added sugars are also added when foods are processed, like fruit in heavy syrups.

Of course, sugars and fats can make food and drink taste good but they add so many unnecessary calories and really don’t fill you up. In America there are plenty of foods considered “empty calories,” but these are by far the worst:

  1. Sodas
  2. Cakes, cookies, donuts, etc.
  3. Pizza
  4. Ice Cream
  5. Cheese
  6. Hot dogs, bacon, sausage, etc.

*Although keep in mind these items can be found in forms with less/no added sugars or solid fat. BUT things like candy and soda are ALL empty calories, so they’re to be avoided.

Making nutritional changes needs to be accompanied with physical activity, so move your body and use its energy you gain from nutritious foods. Simply walking, climbing stairs, dancing or gardening are good ways to be active but for further health benefits, more vigorous physical activity is recommended.

Vigorous activity includes running/jogging, speed walking, biking, swimming, aerobics, tennis, basketball and plenty more. Your goal is to keep your heart rate up. The more you increase your heart rate; you will see more health benefits in a shorter amount of time.