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Balanced Diet: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Why a Balanced Diet?
  • 0:38 What Does a Balanced…
  • 1:40 Basic Tips for Getting Started
  • 3:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Everyone knows that they're supposed to eat well, but what exactly does that mean? In the following lesson, learn why you should follow a balanced diet, what exactly to eat, and what to do if you overdo it with some cheesy fries!

Why a Balanced Diet?

Wouldn't you like to have a steady diet of ice cream, pizza, and cheeseburgers? Or, how about French fries, cotton candy, and buttery popcorn? While that all might sound quite yummy, it's not exactly healthy for you.

We all have been told that it's important to eat well, but why? The word diet is used to refer to everything that a person or animal eats. Eating a balanced diet can help you to feel better, have more energy, keep a healthy weight, and protect against diseases later in age - all great things! So, let's get started!

What Does a Balanced Diet Look Like?

The USDA recommends that you follow their latest diagram of healthy eating called MyPlate. Take a minute, look at the image and see what you notice.

The USDA MyPlate Diagram
USDA MyPlate

You might have noticed:

  • There are five food groups: fruits, veggies, protein, grains, and dairy. Sorry, chocolate isn't its own food group!
  • Fruits and veggies make up half of the plate. This tells you that half of your plate should be made up of fresh fruits and veggies. Does your dinner plate look like that?
  • Dairy is the smallest food group. This tells you that dairy should make up a small amount of your diet.
  • Grains make up a little more than one quarter of the plate. This means that those enormous bowls of pasta shouldn't be a standard in your diet.

In addition to these proportions, the USDA recommends that you choose grains that are whole grains, vary your fruits and vegetables, select low-fat and fat-free dairy products, eat different kinds of protein, and that you be aware of your portions. You could eat all the right things, but if you overdo it, that wouldn't be good either!

Basic Tips for Getting Started

Let's go through some tips on how you can get started eating a healthy, balanced diet.

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