Kids Guide to Nutrition and Dental Health
Healthy eating is an important part of growing up because both the brain and the rest of the body need healthy foods and drinks to grow and stay strong. There are many ways to take care of the body, including exercise, getting enough sleep, and good nutrition.
What Is Nutrition?
“Nutrition” is a big word that basically means “feeding yourself.” Both kids and adults need nutrients to grow strong and healthy, including vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are found in the food we eat every day. Some foods, like spinach and eggs, are healthy and contain lots of nutrients. Other foods, like soda and ice cream, are less healthy because they don’t contain the nutrients that your body needs. That doesn’t mean we can never eat them, though. It just means we should eat them less often.
- Healthy Eating for Kids
- Nine Must-Eat Nutrients for Children
- Best Nutrition Books for Kids
- Healthy Eating: What Young Children Need
What Foods Are Good for the Body?
There are five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. When putting food on your plate, try to make sure that half of the plate has fruits and vegetables and that the other half has grains and proteins. Fruits can include apples and bananas, strawberries and blueberries, or more unusual items like avocados and kiwis. Vegetables can include carrots, broccoli, green beans, and peas. Grains are trickier because we don’t want to eat too many of them. They are foods like pasta, cereal, bread, and rice. The last group on the plate is the protein group, which includes meat, like chicken, beef, pork, and fish. Eggs are a type of protein, too. There’s also dairy, which includes milk, yoghurt, and cheese, which you should also add to your meal. Feeling hungry yet?
- Guidelines for a Healthy Diet
- Visual of the Five Food Groups
- Superfoods for Kids
- Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
But What About Soda?
Sadly, soda is not a healthy drink option. It contains lots of sugar and is bad for your teeth. The best thing for the human body to drink is water. Water flushes out toxins and quenches our thirst. The best thing about water is that it doesn’t contain anything unhealthy, like sugar. Milk is another great thing to drink because it contains calcium, which helps our bones grow strong.
Unhealthy Foods: Avoid These!
There are some foods that people should stay away from or only eat in very small amounts. It’s OK to eat fatty foods like French fries once in a while but not all of the time. In the grain group, stick to whole grains like brown pasta, brown rice, and brown bread instead of regular pasta, white rice, and white bread. In the protein group, try to eat fish and chicken more often than beef and pork. Another thing many parents tell their kids to stay away from is sugar. Many favorite cereals contain sugar, and so do lots of yummy drinks, including juice. Even fruit juice contains a lot of extra sugar, so try to limit how much you drink.
Foods That Are Good for Teeth
Eating healthy is good for the body and for your dental health. One of the best ways to take care of your teeth is to eat and drink things that are healthy and don’t contain a lot of sugar. If you eat food from each of the five food groups every day and drink water instead of sugary drinks, your teeth will look and feel great.
Other Ways to Take Care of Your Teeth
Eating healthy isn’t the only way to take care of our teeth. It’s also important to brush them with toothpaste twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. Always make sure to brush both your top and bottom teeth, especially those sneaky ones in the very back!
Flossing is another great way to help your teeth stay clean. Flossing helps get rid of any gunk that’s hiding out between your teeth that the toothbrush can’t get.
- How Long to Brush
- I Like My Teeth
- Keeping Kids Cavity-Free
- Oral Health
- Books About Dental Health
- How to Reverse Tooth Decay and Avoid a Cavity
- Caring for Teeth and Gums
Games and Activities
Games and activities are a fun way to learn even more about nutrition and dental health. You can play games about your health with parents or friends or online and learn a lot without even realizing it!
- Falling Food Groups Game
- Power Up Your Breakfast
- Arthur’s Lunch-o-Matic
- Sortify: Nutrition
- Group Games
- How to Play Food Alphabet Toss