Learn More About Nutrition For Kids
Food is any material consumed in order to provide nutrition to the organisms. In the human body, food is composed of fat, protein, vegetable and mineral contents, and has important nutrients, like carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, and minerals. The three main groups of food are carbohydrates (including sugars), proteins and vitamins. A variety of carbohydrates may be ingested through the diet, which includes fruit, vegetables, whole grain breads, rice cakes, pasta, and cereals. Some carbohydrates may be metabolized into energy (e.g., glucose) by the liver, which is then stored in the muscles and liver.
The carbohydrates that the body uses for energy may be stored in the tissues as glycogen or plasma glucose and may be converted into glucose by the liver. The stored glycogen is eventually released as a form of energy. The stored fats are used as sources of energy during exercise, while the mineral salts in food may be used as sources of nourishment for the human body. The other nutrients in food provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fats needed for the human body.
Generally, all food types contain a variety of nutrients and some minerals in varying proportions. The nutritional value of foods is described by their classification as macronutrients, i.e., those nutrients which are needed to maintain a normal body system and function. The five major macronutrients are iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, and fibre. These nutrients can be divided further into non-nutrient content foods. Foods which contain non-nutrient content are called functional foods.
Fats are an important part of the diet, but you should be careful not to over-eat saturated fat and hydrogenated oils, which are known to cause cancer. Good fats include monounsaturated fatty acids (MFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PFA), and polyunsaturated oils. The amount of fat in a food is an important element of nutrition. The amount of fat in foods you eat depends largely on the source of the fat, for example, a glass of whole milk contains more fat than a similar cup of potato chips. However, when you are shopping for food, always read the label of ingredients to make sure that there are no additives or excessive amounts of fat or other unhealthy fats included in the food you are thinking of buying.
Snacks are very important source of nutrition and here also the quality of the food matters a lot. Some people believe that foods like sweet potatoes, rice cakes, and biscuits are snacks. Rather they should be classed as foods rich in nutrients. Snack foods should be chosen keeping in mind not only their nutritional value but also their texture and colour. When you see food being sold as being healthy, but when you taste it you find it to be bland and boring, then you know that it is not the right kind of snack food.
We need to eat enough vitamin A to grow properly. Foods that are rich in vitamin A are oily fish such as cod, tuna, trout, salmon and mackerel, carrots, spinach and apricots, red meat such as beef and pork, cheese, butter and margarine. We need to eat enough vitamin E to help protect skin from damage from the sun, and we also need to eat enough vitamin K to help repair damaged blood vessels. Last but not least, healthy eating should be combined with regular exercise to stay healthy and fit.