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Nutrition facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Healthy eating pyramid
Healthy eating pyramid per Harvard School of Public Health

Nutrition provides the cells of an organism with food, in a form they can use. Organisms need food to be able to keep their bodies working properly. They also need food to be able to do certain things. Malnutrition can happen when a person doesn't eat the right amount of nutrients. They can get better by changing their diet to have the right amount of the various nutrients.

Different organisms have different food requirements, and they eat different things in order to meet those requirements. Animals that do not eat meat, for example, will have to get certain nutrients like protein from other foods.

A nutrition expert is called a dietician. Nutritionists are different because they don't need the government to recognize them as experts. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.

The six main types of nutrient are carbohydrates, fats, minerals, protein, vitamins, and water. A macronutrient is a nutrient that needs to be eaten a lot. A micronutrient, such as a vitamin, is needed in smaller amounts but it is still important. Carbohydrates are not needed by the body but most people eat a lot of them. Complex carbohydrates are more nutritious than simple carbohydrates. They take longer to digest. Because they stay in the stomach for longer they leave the person who has eaten them feeling fuller for longer. Protein is needed for building cells. It is found in milk, meat, fish, beans, eggs and other foods like quinoa. Protein is made of amino acids.

Fat is found naturally in some foods. People often eat it in processed foods such as cakes and chocolate. It is high in energy. Omega 3 and omega 6 fats are needed by the body. There are saturated fats and unsaturated fats. It is recommended that people avoid the saturated type. It has been linked with heart disease. A lot of people think that fat is bad in general. It is controversial. People are also advised not to eat too much sugar or salt.

Most people eat three meals a day. Eating every few hours keeps blood sugar stable.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Nutrición para niños

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