Food is essential to life; it provides energy that fuels both body and mind as well as essential vitamins and nutrients to keep us healthy. Food also plays an integral role in culture, economic stability and spiritual wellbeing.
A balanced diet should include foods from each of the main food groups. Each group provides specific types and amounts of nutrients. Any items outside these categories, known as discretionary choices, should only be eaten occasionally in small amounts.
Examples of these foods are cakes, biscuits and soft drinks; these should be limited as they contain high amounts of saturated fats, added salts and sugars as well as many kilojoules. Instead try opting for lower kilojoule snacks such as fruit cups or wholemeal toast; you may also consider cooking meals at home to control how much saturated fat, added salts and sugar you consume as well as how many kilojoules. Think soups stews casseroles etc that can be frozen later and frozen before serving!
Eating from each of the 5 major food groups each day can help maintain a healthy weight and help protect against disease. When selecting foods from this food groups, select whole natural ones with no added fats, salt or sugar that contain no processed ingredients and provide more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than highly processed products.
Food’s Role in Daily Life
Although most people can afford food, hunger and malnutrition continue to exist worldwide due to poor harvests, war, drought, or other causes of malnutrition. People eat both to satisfy hunger as well as for pleasure or social reasons – something most cultures can relate to when considering daily needs such as survival.
This Activity will teach your group members about the Four Food Groups and why a balanced diet is so vital for good health. They’ll also discover why cooking and storing food safely are so crucial – perfect for children from Years 2-5! Download and save this PDF file directly into your Kit to use with other youth groups; or display Workpad poster to stimulate discussion with younger participants. Both resources can be found by following this link below!