The food pyramid for children and kids is a guideline given by the US government to provide a balanced diet to children. The lifestyle of kids has changed in the last few decades and the dietary regulations have also modified. Kids taking good amount of fats and leading a sedentary lifestyle can suffer from obesity which is caused by high fat intake.
The latest guidelines released contain the following
1. Highest amount of grains and cereals should be included in the diet which is at the bottom of the pyramid.
2. Kids should be given vegetables and fruits in adequate amount which is placed at second highest level.
3. Milk and meat products are included on the third level
4. The lowest quantities should be of food rich in fats. The fat products having cholesterol and saturated fat which comes from the junk food should be avoided.
Parents should be cautious to include a number of different varieties of food each day in the food of kids. The diet should match the physical activities. If a kid is inactive, he/she may need fewer calories in day than the one who is more active.
One should be careful to include the following food products in amount as given below.
Grains should be included in the form of rice or pasta or cereals or ready to eat cereals. The kids should be given at least 6 serving of grains in a day. A kid between the ages of 4 to 8 years has been advised to eat at least four to five ounces of grain in a day which means one cup of cereals or a slice of bread or half cup pasta.
Chopped green vegetables or raw vegetables, raw green leafy vegetables should be included in the diet.The kid can be given three serving of raw vegetables in a day or you can include half cup of raw vegetables or 1 cup of green leafy vegetables.
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Fruits should be given two times in a day and fruits such as dried fruits (three to four almonds or dried nuts), melon or canned fruits can be given half a cup in day. Kids of all age group should be given one and half cup of fruits in a day. The kids should be encouraged to eat fruits and take fruit juices. But fruits juices high in sugar content should not be allowed.
The kid should be given two to three serving of milk or dairy products in a day. A cup of milk or yoghurt can be included in the diet or two ounces of cheese in a day can be given. Milk should be given everyday till the age of 13.
The kids should be given small quantity of meat and beans. Children require good amount of proteins and iron for growth.
Only 30% of the calories should come from fats. One should be cautious about the kind of fat included in the diet. The saturated fat products high in cholesterol should not be included.
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