-
x

Meet New Friends!

Recommended friends are based on your interests. Make sure they are up to date.

Friends
Kidzworld Logo

The Food Guide Pyramid

The Food Guide Pyramid is one way for people to understand how to eat healthy. A rainbow of colored, vertical stripes represents the five food groups plus fats and oils. Here's what the colors stand for:

  • Orange: grains
  • Green: vegetables
  • Red: fruits
  • Yellow: fats and oils
  • Blue: milk and dairy products
  • Purple: meat, beans, fish and nuts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) changed the pyramid in 2005 because they wanted to do a better job of telling Americans how to be healthy. The agency later released a special version for kids. Notice the girl climbing the staircase up the side of the pyramid? That's a way of showing kids how important it is to exercise and be active every day. In other words, play a lot! The steps are also a way of saying that you can make changes little by little to be healthier. One step at a time, get it?

The Pyramid Speaks

Let's look at some of the other messages this new symbol is trying to send:

Eat a variety of foods. A balanced diet is one that includes all the food groups. In other words, have foods from every color, every day.

Eat less of some foods and more of others. You can see that the bands for meat and protein (purple) and oils (yellow) are skinnier than the others. That's because you need less of those kinds of foods than you do of fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy foods.

You also can see the bands start out wider and get thinner as they approach the top. That's designed to show you that not all foods are created equal, even within a healthy food group like fruit. For instance, apple pie would be in that thin part of the fruit band because it has a lot of added sugar and fat. A whole apple would be down in the wide part because you can eat more of those within a healthy diet.

Make it personal. Through the USDA's MyPyramid website, people can get personalized recommendations about the mix of foods they need to eat and how much they should be eating. There is a kids' version of the website available too.

How Much Do I Need to Eat?

Everyone wants to know how much they should eat to stay healthy. It's a tricky question, though. It depends on your age, whether you're a girl or a boy and how active you are. Kids who are more active burn more calories, so they need more calories. But we can give you some estimates for how much you need of each food group.

Grains

Grains are measured out in ounce equivalents, which are just another way of showing a serving size. Here are ounce equivalents for common grain foods. An ounce equivalent equals:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • ½ cup of cooked cereal, like oatmeal
  • ½ cup of rice or pasta
  • 1 cup of cold cereal
  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 4–5 ounce equivalents each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old girls need 5 ounce equivalents each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old boys need 6 ounce equivalents each day.

And one last thing about grains: Try make at least half of your grain servings whole grains, such as 100% whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal.

Vegetables

Of course, you need your vegetables, especially those dark green and orange ones. But how much is enough? Vegetable servings are measured in cups.

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 1½ cups of veggies each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old girls need 2 cups of veggies each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old boys need 2½ cups of veggies each day.

Fruits

Sweet, juicy fruit is definitely part of a healthy diet. Here's how much you need:

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 1–1½ cups of fruit each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-olds need 1½ cups of fruit each day.

Milk and Other Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium builds strong bones to last a lifetime, so you need these foods in your diet.

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 2 cups of milk (or another calcium-rich food) each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-olds need 3 cups of milk (or another calcium-rich food) each day.

If you want something other than milk, you can substitute yogurt, cheese, or calcium-fortified orange juice — just to name a few.

Meats, Beans, Fish, and Nuts

These foods contain iron and lots of other important nutrients. Like grains, these foods are measured in ounce equivalents. An ounce equivalent of this group would be:

  • 1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish
  • ¼ cup cooked dry beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • ½ ounce (about a small handful) of nuts or seeds
  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 3–4 ounce equivalents each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-olds need 5 ounce equivalents each day.

We know that's a lot to swallow. The good news is that your mom, dad, and the other grown-ups in your life will help you eat what you need to stay healthy. There's more good news — you don't have to become a perfect eater overnight. Just remember those stairs climbing up the side of the new pyramid and take it one step at a time.

Related stories:
23 Comments

Related Stories

Micro_healthysnacks-micro
Sometimes life can be too hectic to sit down for proper meals, and you just need to grab somethin...
Micro_kitchen micro
Time to get out your backpack and choose your outfit for the first day because school is back in ...
15 Ways to Live Happy from HappyWater!
Micro_soda_micro
S Chik asks: “I love pop but my parents won’t let me drink it. What should I do?”
F1113502877640

Yummiest Food Group?

  • The milk group cuz it includes ice cream!
  • I love my fruits and veggies.
  • Pasta from the grains group - yum yum!
  • Meat - nothing beats a good burger.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

SmartSunnyShadow
I have one so annoying sister, that it feels like I have 200 of them, oh my god. She's pounding on the door right now, HELP! 
reply about 3 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Dad, obviously. I can't even explain what he does to me!
reply about 3 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Well, if they are your BFFs, they shouldn't be teasing you to make you feel bad. Me, and my BFFs tease each other all the time playfully, but I understand that this is different, and if it's making you feel bad it isn't playful at all.   Maybe your eldest friend is having some trouble with family issues, bad grades, body changes, etc. It's okay to be angry, so maybe you should leave her space for a few days, and see if it turns better. If it isn't, then try to first make her calm down. Then, make her talk to you about why she is so angry and ask if you can try to help. If nothing turns out better, tell her that you feel uncomfortable, and you want her to talk to you.  For your 3rd eldest friend, support her as much as possible, and stand up for her in this terrible situation. If you are all BFFs, then you should all be very close and comfortable around each other, and the fight shouldn't last long. If not, they are not your real friends, and you have to go on without them. I have tons of advice on how to make new friends, so just ask me if you want to know. Your 2nd eldest friend seems to be the main problem.  First of all, tell her to stop, and say how you don't like her bullying you. You must say what she is doing wrong, and how it makes you feel. If she doesn't care, tell her you're serious, and you hate what she is doing to you. If it continues, ignore what trash she is saying, and just simply walk away. Focus on other things that will help make you feel better. Remember, all she is is a person, and it's up to you to act appropriately.  Stay positive, and calm. Focus on other things, and if she continues, tell her that you can all be friends and you miss her. Go get another friend to stand up with you, and tell her that you will report to an adult if she won't stop. She may be your friend, but she deserves it. I told on my BFF when she was mean, so it's all okay now.  If all else fails, get a trusted adult, and hang out with nicer friends. Your other friends will learn from their mistakes. If not, warn them, and give them a sincere kindness note of how you miss being friends. Then, also give one to the bully.
reply about 3 hours
AnnaOfExquizurd
Yeah, @CyclonicBass the best option really is to find a girl with a quirky personality. Become friends with her. Possibly, over time, she'll grow close to you and accept a request to be with you. Hope it goes well!
reply 1 day
drowning
You go out and you find someone who you can be you with. It's not a hard question to find the answer too.
reply 1 day