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Food Pyramid Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jeremy Cook

Jeremy has been teaching in elementary education for 13 years and holds a master's degree in Education

Has your mom ever told you to eat all your vegetables to be healthy? Your mom isn't making that stuff up! In this lesson, we will discuss the U.S. government's food guide charts and learn how they may be used to eat in a healthy way.

What Is the Food Guide Pyramid?

The food pyramid is a visual guide from the U.S. government which shows a person what to eat each day to be healthy. It organizes food into 6 groups. These 6 groups are organized in a pyramid shape based on the number of servings, or a set amount of food, a person should eat each day. The food groups of the pyramid are:

  • Bread, cereal, rice and pasta
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Meat, poultry, fish, beans and nuts
  • Fats and oils

The food pyramid guide helps people eat in a healthy way.
Food Guide

The Levels of the Pyramid

Each part of the food pyramid is slightly different in recommended serving sizes. The lower down the pyramid, the higher the amount of suggested servings. The base of the pyramid is the largest part - the grain group. The pyramid suggests that the average person get between 5 and 11 servings of rice, bread or other grains per day. Sitting right above the base are two slightly smaller pieces that make up the second level. These are the fruit group and the vegetable group. The vegetable group has a suggested serving size of 3 to 5 per day. The fruit serving size is 2 to 4 portions per day.

Vegetables and fruit
Fruits and Vegetables

The third level contains the dairy group and the meat, poultry, fish, beans and nuts group. Both of these groups contain protein. They each have a suggested serving amount of 2 to 3 servings per day. The meat group is considered to be the most diverse food group because it contains the meat of all animals that people may eat. However, not all people eat meat, so this category also contains plant sources of protein - beans and nuts.

Meats, nuts, beans and dairy products all contain protein.
Meats and Beans

The Top Level

The top of the food pyramid is reserved for fats, oils and sugars. This category contains junk foods such as sweets, potato chips and fried foods. Junk food has very little nutritional value and should be eaten sparingly or not at all. There is no suggested serving amounts because they shouldn't be consumed as a part of a healthy diet.

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