Where does your food come from?
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Do you know where your food comes from? What are some better choices, and why…
As a kid you use a lot of calories (energy) and need lots of nutrients (the good stuff in food) but your stomach is still small (especially compared to an adult), so you should have frequent, healthy snacks. For good health it means things like fresh crispy carrots, celery and fruit. Added sugar and fat/oil is something to steer clear of, so cut back on things like chippies, lollies, soft drinks, cheap burgers and deep fried stuff.
If you are teenager it’s likely you have high-energy needs and maybe a busy schedule, so keep delicious, healthy snack choices on hand.
It’s best to keep away from high fat content foods when buying takeaways or at a café. A pitfall in takeaways is that they are quite often fatty & salty and that can lead to weight gain and health problems, such as obesity. As with kids you should cut back on things like chippies, lollies, soft drinks, cheap burgers and deep fried stuff. These things also contribute to zits/acne.
Energy needs vary from person to person. The following guidelines are general ones.
• Whole grains include breads, hot and
cold cereals, pasta, cooked grains such as
rice and barley, and crackers.
• One serving equals 1/2 cup of pasta,
grains, or cooked cereal/porridge, 3/4 to 1 cup
of ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 bun or bagel, or
1 slice of bread.
• “Dark green vegetables” include
broccoli, kale, spinach, turnip, mustard and
beetroot greens, bok choy, and Swiss chard.
• “Other vegetables” refers to all other
vegetables, fresh or frozen, raw or cooked.
• One serving of vegetables equals 1/2 cup
cooked or 1 cup raw (unless an amount is
• Fruits include all fruits, fresh or frozen,
raw or cooked, and fruit juices.
• One serving equals 1/2 cup cooked
fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice, 1/4 cup dried
fruit, or 1 piece of fruit (unless an amount
Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and Non-Dairy Milks
• Legumes include any cooked bean such
as pinto, kidney, lentils, split peas, navy
beans, and chickpeas, as well as soy products
such as tofu, veggie burgers, soy “hot
dogs”/saveloys, or sandwich slices, and tempeh.
• One serving of legumes equals 1/2 cup
of beans, tofu, or other item (unless an
amount is specified).
• Non-dairy milks include breast milk
and soy formula for infants and toddlers,
and rice-, soy-, and other vegetable-based
milks for children at least 1 year of age.
Choose fortified soymilk, such as Westsoy,
Enriched VitaSoy, or SoGood,
whenever possible, or use other fortified
• One serving of non-dairy milk equals 1 cup.
• Nuts include whole or chopped nuts, nut
butters, whole seeds, and seed butters.
• One to two servings of nuts may be
included in a healthy diet, but they are
optional. One serving of nuts or nut butters
equals 1 tablespoon.
Ages 5 to 6 years
Breakfast: Whole grain cereal with banana and soymilk, orange wedges
Lunch: Missing Egg Sandwich, apple juice, carrot sticks, oatmeal biscuit
Dinner: Baked beans with soy “hot dog”/saveloy pieces, baked potato, spinach, soymilk, fruit salad
Snacks: Trail mix, crackers, Soymilk
Ages 7 to 12 years
Breakfast: Strawberry-banana smoothie, toast with almond butter, calcium-fortified orange juice
Lunch: Hearty Chili Mac, green salad, bread
Dinner: Steamed broccoli with nutritional/savoury yeast, steamed carrots, oven chips, Berry Cobbler, soymilk
Snacks: Popcorn, figs, soy “ice cream”
Ages 13 to 19 years
Breakfast: Bagel with apple butter, banana, calcium-fortified orange juice
Lunch: Bean burrito with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole, rice, baked tortilla chips, and salsa
Dinner: Braised broccoli, carrots, yellow squash, and mushrooms, spaghetti with marinara sauce, cucumber salad, soymilk
Snacks: Hummus and baby carrots, fruit smoothie.
For all the recipes in the above sample menus and more, please click here
Food Groups, Sample Menus and Daily Meal Planner obtained from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. www.pcrm.org
The information on this page is for guidance only and is not intended as individual medical advice.
Parents: Always discuss any diet change with your doctor or your child’s paediatrician. In some cases, diet changes may alter medication needs.
Anyone following a Vegan diet should be sure to include a source of vitamin B12 in their daily routine, such as fortified cereals, fortified soy milk and B12 droplets or tablets (available from your chemist.) It should be noted that even those consuming animal products should include vitamin B12 supplements in their diet.
fortified soymilk, or any common multiple vitamin