The standard food pyramid, drafted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), helps both kids and adults make smart nutritional choices. By adhering to this pyramid, children can learn the major food groups and their importance for healthy bodily functions.
The USDA food guide pyramid features multi-colored bands that represent each of the basic food groups. The bands are sized according to the portion of the diet that they should make up. The fruits group, for example, is represented by a red band that is roughly twice the size of the purple band that represents the nuts and beans food group.
The many colors of the food pyramid help remind kids to eat a variety of foods. Children learn that choosing from each of the food groups every day helps to create a healthy, balanced diet.
Unlike its predecessors, the USDA food pyramid does not consider sweets and fats as a major food group. This missing section might confuse children as they consider the nutritional properties of candy, ketchup, and milkshakes.
Popular as it is, the USDA food pyramid is not the only source for children's nutrition. Vegetarian and diabetic children, for example, should reference food pyramids that are altered to fit their specific dietary needs.