General Nutrition (for parents)
Discusses various nutrients and their importance to good health, identifies healthy sources for those nutrients, identifies ways to reduce fat, sodium and sugar, and provides guidance on selecting and preparing foods.
What is Good Nutrition?
We All Need a Healthy Diet
A Healthy Diet Provides:
- Energy and essential nutrients needed for proper growth, repair, and maintenance of body functions
- Resistance to disease and infection
- Essential nutrients to prevent deficiencies that lead to problems such as anemia
- The correct amount of carbohydrate, fat and protein to reduce risks for chronic disease
- The proper number of calories (the measurement of food’s energy) to fuel activity, body functions and growth in children
- A variety of foods, including plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits
The following is a generalized list of calorie intakes for children:
Over half of the foods we eat should be carbohydrates. Our daily diet should include both simple and complex carbohydrates
- Simple carbohydrates are the sugars found in fruit (fructose) and in milk (lactose). Brown, white and powdered sugars are made of sucrose which is also a simple carbohydrate. These sugars should be limited in our diet because they provide empty calories.
- That is, they do not contain vitamins and minerals like fruits and milk. All simple carbohydrates digest quickly and therefore provide fuel to the body rapidly.
- Complex carbohydrates provide a longer lasting form of energy for our bodies.
- Whole grains found in breads, cereals and whole wheat pasta, vegetables, and legumes (dried peas, beans and lentils) are rich in complex carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates supply 4 calories per gram and allow proteins to be used for growth and maintenance of the body rather than energy.