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Staple food facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Various types of potatoes for sale
Various types of potatoes
Speltkorrels
Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food
Boiled White rice
White rice, boiled

A staple food is a food item that can be stored easily and eaten throughout the year. Different kinds of staple foods are used in different parts of the world.

The term means the common basis of the everyday diet in a place. Potatoes and rice are the most usual examples, but bread is not a staple food because it is a manufactured food which cannot be stored. Of course, it can always be made, since wheat is a staple food.

Typically staple foods are inexpensive or readily available and supply one or more of the macronutrients needed for survival and health: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins.

Early agricultural civilizations valued the foods that they established as staples because, in addition to providing necessary nutrition, they generally are suitable for storage over long periods of time without decay. Such nonperishable foods are the only possible staples during seasons of shortage, such as dry seasons or cold temperate winters, against which times harvests have been stored. During seasons of plenty, wider choices of foods may be available. Fruit is not a staple because it usually grows at a certain time of year. Meat is not a staple because it may not be available, or is expensive to buy. Green vegetables may be a staple in some countries, but not others.

Foods which need special facilities, such as refrigeration are not staple foods.

Here are some examples of staple foods:

Pictures of common staple foods

See also

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