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FAQ


Nutrition

Do your students have questions about nutrition? If so, you might find answers here. We did our best to cover the basics.

What are the five food groups?

What's a calorie?

How many calories should I eat a day?

What's a balanced diet?

Why is eating breakfast so important?

Why should I exercise?

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What are the five food groups?
A healthy diet means eating balanced meals composed of foods from the five food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products and meats/beans.

What's a calorie?
Eating food, especially healthy food, gives us energy. Calories are a way of measuring how much energy a certain kind of food will give us. Your body burns calories like a car burns gasoline — calories make your body go!

So, for example, if one bowl of cereal contains 250 calories, that means you'll get 250 units of energy from eating the cereal.

How many calories should I eat a day?
Different people — small or large, young or old, active or not active — need different levels of energy from their food. Experts tell us that an active 4th grader needs to eat a variety of healthy foods with about 2,500 calories every day to stay healthy and grow strong.

What's a balanced diet?
A balanced diet is a healthful diet — one that includes nutritious foods (in meals and snacks) that provide the protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water your body needs every day.

"Balance" your diet each day with foods from the major food groups (see answer #1 above). A simple way to balance a meal is to use half your plate for colorful, vitamin-rich foods from the fruit and vegetable groups and half for foods from the grains, meats and milk groups.

Why is eating breakfast so important?
Breakfast fills your "empty tank" to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you pay attention in school. (For more information about eating right, visit Kidnetic. For basic information about the Food Pyramid, visit the FDA's Web site.)

Why should I exercise?
Fun activities such as running, skipping rope, playing sports and even just walking burn calories, which helps you maintain the right weight for you. And that's good news! It means that playing — and the physical activity that goes with it — is just as important as nutrition for keeping you strong and healthy.

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