(Source from cookinglight.com)
Nutrients are what give us energy, help us grow, and keep our hearts beating and our body systems running efficiently. It’s important for kids to eat a variety of foods from these six groups of nutrients.
Carolyn Land Williams, M.Ed., R.D.
Because children are constantly growing, consuming a nutrient-rich diet is essential. There are six groups of nutrients:
- The body’s main source of energy and fuel
- Found in grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and dairy foods, as well as added sugars
- Include fiber that keeps our digestive systems running smoothly
- Essential for building and maintaining the body
- Found in meats, seafood, beans, nuts, and dairy foods
- Vital for keeping skin, hair, and nails healthy and for absorbing vitamins
- Some body fat is needed to protect organs and to insulate the body
- Each food has a unique assortment of vitamins
- Grains and protein foods are rich in B vitamins; fortified dairy foods are rich in vitamin D; vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamin A and C; plant oils and nuts are rich in vitamin E
- Each food has its own assortment of minerals
- Two important minerals for growing kids are iron (found in protein foods, whole grains, and some vegetables) and calcium (found in dairy foods and some vegetables)
- Makes up more than half of our body weight and must be replaced daily
Eating foods from each group every day provides most of the nutrients that kids need.