Three essential food groups

Three essential food groups for good health

It's often said that health is the true wealth, enabling us to fulfill our daily responsibilities to ourselves, our families, and our communities. This principle holds true not only for adults but also for children. Providing children with nutritious food is a key factor in ensuring their optimal growth and development. Understanding essential nutrients and food groups becomes a crucial step in protecting children and their families from malnutrition and its associated risks.

Types of Food Groups

To prevent malnutrition, it is essential to incorporate three crucial food groups into children's diets: energy-providing foods, body-building foods, and protective foods.

1. Energy-Providing Foods

These foods provide the energy necessary for our daily movements, allowing us to work and stave off fatigue. Examples in this group include rice, noodles, rice noodles, taro, oil, bread, dumplings, sweet potatoes, sticky rice, potatoes, and corn.

2. Body-Building Foods

Nutrients from this group assist quick recovery during illness and support overall body development. This group includes beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat, and dairy products. These foods are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats.

3. Protective Foods

A balanced diet of disease-preventing foods is instrumental in preventing illness. This group includes various vegetables and fruits, serving as the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed by the body. They are also rich sources of minerals and fibre.

After learning about these food groups, explore vitamins and minerals here.

Adapted from Basic nutrition workshop by UNCDF and IEC materials from LEARN.