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Nutrition and healthy food for teenagers
The Healthy Eating Pyramid encourages Australians to enjoy a variety of foods from every food group, every day. The following example of a planned unit of learning shows how a teacher could use the health promotion process to provide a teaching and learning framework. In order to adapt their eating habits, children and young people need opportunities to prepare and taste new foods. Children who eat school lunches are more likely to consume milk, meats, grains and vegetables than students who bring lunch from home. The United States later developed its first food pyramid in This means they can concentrate on learning, remembering and solving problems better. This food group also refers to non-dairy options such as soy, rice or cereal milks which have at least mg per ml of added calcium.

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Making Healthy Food Choices

Also, notice that many of the meals and snacks you eat contain items from several food groups. For example, a sandwich may provide bread from the grains group, turkey from the meat and beans group, and cheese from the milk group. Choose a variety of foods for good nutrition. Since foods within most food groups differ in their content of nutrients and other beneficial substances, choosing a variety helps you get all the nutrients and fiber you need.

It can also help keep your meals interesting from day to day. There are many healthful eating patterns Different people like different foods and like to prepare the same foods in different ways. Culture, family background, religion, moral beliefs, the cost and availability of food, life experiences, food intolerances, and allergies affect people's food choices.

Use the Food Guide Pyramid as a starting point to shape your eating pattern. It provides a good guide to make sure you get enough nutrients. Make choices from each major group in the Food Guide Pyramid , and combine them however you like. For example, those who like Mexican cuisine might choose tortillas from the grains group and beans from the meat and beans group, while those who eat Asian food might choose rice from the grains group and tofu from the meat and beans group.

If you usually avoid all foods from one or two of the food groups, be sure to get enough nutrients from other food groups. For example, if you choose not to eat milk products because of intolerance to lactose or for other reasons, choose other foods that are good sources of calcium see box 9 , and be sure to get enough vitamin D.

Meat, fish, and poultry are major contributors of iron, zinc, and B vitamins in most American diets. If you choose to avoid all or most animal products, be sure to get enough iron, vitamin B 12 , calcium, and zinc from other sources.

Vegetarian diets can be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and meet Recommended Dietary Allowances for nutrients. Choose low-fat or fat-free milk products most often.

Growing children, teenagers, women, and older adults have higher needs for some nutrients Adolescents and adults over age 50 have an especially high need for calcium, but most people need to eat plenty of good sources of calcium for healthy bones throughout life. When selecting dairy products to get enough calcium, choose those that are low in fat or fat-free to avoid getting too much saturated fat. Young children, teenage girls, and women of childbearing age need enough good sources of iron, such as lean meats and cereals with added nutrients, to keep up their iron stores see box Women who could become pregnant need extra folic acid, and older adults need extra vitamin D.

The ingredient list tells you what's in the food, including any nutrients, fats, or sugars that have been added. The ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. See figure 3 to learn how to read the Nutrition Facts.

Remember, Nutrition Facts serving sizes may differ from those used in the Food Guide Pyramid see box 8. Use of dietary supplements Some people need a vitamin-mineral supplement to meet specific nutrient needs.

For example, women who could become pregnant are advised to eat foods fortified with folic acid or to take a folic acid supplement in addition to consuming folate-rich foods to reduce the risk of some serious birth defects. Older adults and people with little exposure to sunlight may need a vitamin D supplement.

People who seldom eat dairy products or other rich sources of calcium need a calcium supplement, and people who eat no animal foods need to take a vitamin B 12 supplement. Sometimes vitamins or minerals are prescribed for meeting nutrient needs or for therapeutic purposes. For example, health care providers may advise pregnant women to take an iron supplement, and adults over age 50 to get their vitamin B 12 from a supplement or from fortified foods.

Supplements of some nutrients, such as vitamin A and selenium, can be harmful if taken in large amounts. Because foods contain many substances that promote health, use the Food Guide Pyramid when choosing foods. Don't depend on supplements to meet your usual nutrient needs. Dietary supplements include not only vitamins and minerals, but also amino acids, fiber, herbal products, and many other substances that are widely available. Herbal products usually provide a very small amount of vitamins and minerals.

The value of herbal products for health is currently being studied. Standards for their purity, potency, and composition are being developed. F oods made from grains wheat, rice, and oats help form the foundation of a nutritious diet. They provide vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates starch and dietary fiber , and other substances that are important for good health. Grain products are low in fat, unless fat is added in processing, in preparation, or at the table.

Whole grains differ from refined grains in the amount of fiber and nutrients they provide, and different whole grain foods differ in nutrient content, so choose a variety of whole and enriched grains. Eating plenty of whole grains, such as whole wheat bread or oatmeal see box 11 , as part of the healthful eating patterns described by these guidelines, may help protect you against many chronic diseases. See box 8 for serving sizes.

Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other protective substances in whole grain foods contribute to the health benefits of whole grains. Refined grains are low in fiber and in the protective substances that accompany fiber. Eating plenty of fiber-containing foods, such as whole grains and also many fruits and vegetables promotes proper bowel function. The high fiber content of many whole grains may also help you to feel full with fewer calories.

Fiber is best obtained from foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables rather than from fiber supplements for several reasons: Use the Nutrition Facts Label to help choose grains that are rich in fiber and low in saturated fat and sodium.

Try some of these whole grain foods: Folic acid, a form of folate, is now added to all enriched grain products thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron have been added to enriched grains for many years.

Folate is a B vitamin that reduces the risk of some serious types of birth defects when consumed before and during early pregnancy.

Studies are underway to clarify whether it decreases risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Whole grain foods naturally contain some folate, but only a few mainly ready-to-eat breakfast cereals contain added folic acid as well. Read the ingredient label to find out if folic acid and other nutrients have been added, and check the Nutrition Facts Label to compare the nutrient content of foods like breakfast cereals. Eat 6 or more servings of grain products daily whole grain and refined breads, cereals, pasta, and rice.

Include several servings of whole grain foods daily for their good taste and their health benefits. If your calorie needs are low, have only 6 servings of a sensible size daily see box 8 for examples of serving sizes. Combine whole grains with other tasty, nutritious foods in mixed dishes. Prepare or choose grain products with little added saturated fat and a moderate or low amount of added sugars.

Also, check the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts Label. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily F ruits and vegetables are key parts of your daily diet.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables of different kinds, as part of the healthful eating patterns described by these guidelines, may help protect you against many chronic diseases.

It also promotes healthy bowel function. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

Most people, including children, eat fewer servings of fruits and vegetables than are recommended. Different fruits and vegetables are rich in different nutrients see box Some fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of carotenoids, including those which form vitamin A, while others may be rich in vitamin C, folate, or potassium.

Fruits and vegetables, especially dry beans and peas, also contain fiber and other substances that are associated with good health. Dark-green leafy vegetables, deeply colored fruits, and dry beans and peas are especially rich in many nutrients.

Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling. Some are high in fiber, and many are quick to prepare and easy to eat. Choose whole or cut-up fruits and vegetables rather than juices most often. Juices contain little or no fiber. Try many colors and kinds. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before using.

If you buy prepared vegetables, check the Nutrition Facts Label to find choices that are low in saturated fat and sodium. F oods that are safe from harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemical contaminants are vital for healthful eating. Safe means that the food poses little risk of foodborne illness see box Farmers, food producers, markets, food service establishments, and other food preparers have a role to keep food as safe as possible.

However, we also need to keep and prepare foods safely in the home, and be alert when eating out. Foodborne illness is caused by eating food that contains harmful bacteria, toxins, parasites, viruses, or chemical contaminants.

Bacteria and viruses, especially Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Norwalk-like viruses, are among the most common causes of foodborne illness we know about today.

Eating even a small portion of an unsafe food may make you sick. Signs and symptoms may appear within half an hour of eating a contaminated food or may not develop for up to 3 weeks.

Most foodborne illness lasts a few hours or days. Some foodborne illnesses have effects that go on for weeks, months, or even years. If you think you have become ill from eating a food, consult your health care provider. Follow the steps below to keep your food safe. Be very careful with perishable foods such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk products, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you are at high risk of foodborne illness, be extra careful see box Besides following the guidance in this guideline, some of the extra precautions those at high risk should take are: New information on food safety is constantly emerging. Recommendations and precautions for people at high risk are updated as scientists learn more about preventing foodborne illness. If you are among those at high risk, you need to be aware of and follow the most current information on food safety. Athletics, the arts, leadership.

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We want to hear from you. Nutrition Guidelines for Food, Beverages Children who eat school lunches are more likely to consume milk, meats, grains and vegetables than students who bring lunch from home. Nutrition Guidelines The chart below provides an easy reference to the nutrition guidelines for food and beverages sold and served to students on campus.

Glossary of Terms Click here to view a glossary of terms related to school food. Additional Resources Calculators Smart Snack calculator, click here. Do not use to calculate nutrition requirements for beverages.

Resource Products that meet Smart Snacks, click here. Previous months of the 'Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program featured: Papaya March and April: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

What is a Whole Grain?