The food pyramid is a guide to healthy eating for kids. Each meal should be a proportionate balance between all the food groups. Following this guide, your plate should be filled with a quarter of proteins, a quarter of grains, and a quarter of vegetables, with some variations in between.
Check out the individual food pyramid groups below:
Fruits are best had as desert, in the form of whole fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice. To optimise your kid’s nutrition, prepare a selection of fruits that contain a wide variety of nutrients. I personally recommend eating whole fruits to increase fiber intake. Try to avoid processed or canned fruits. They have lots of added sugar and syrup, which cause energy spikes that aren’t necessarily good.
Vegetables are a very important component of the food pyramid. They may be sauteed, grilled, or eaten raw, such as salad. To maximise your child’s nutritional intake, serve vegetables in various forms and colors, i.e yellow bell peppers, broccolis, carrots, and etc. If you’re going for canned vegetables, try to opt for low-sodium or unsalted versions.
Protein can be found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and soy. It’s good to encourage your kid to eat fish, which is high in healthy fats, and chicken, which contains lean meat. Minimise the intake of unnecessary parts like the skin for a healthier, better diet. Once again, processed meats such as sausages and salamis should also be kept to a minimum as they’re often chock-full of sodium.
Dairy foods are also beneficial to health when taking in moderate quantities. These include milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and etc. When giving milk to your kids, stay away from labels that state “low-fat” and instead go for regular “fresh” or “full cream” options. This is because when the fat in the milk is reduced, some form of sugar is added in to compensate for the lack of taste.
Grains are an essential source of energy. These include rice, oats, barley, wheat, and etc. It’s always better to feed your kids whole grains such as brown or red rice as they’re healthier when the kernel still intact.
Oils provide vital nutrients such as vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, helps to regulate body temperature, and cushion the major organs. Some healthy oils include those derived from the consumption of avocado, olives, nuts, and fish.
You may find a visual illustration of the food pyramid here: https://pediasure.com.my/balancedNutrition/food_pyramid.