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The Healthiest Foods - the FIve Food Groups

Maggie LaBarbera • RN, MBA • Aug 12, 2012
balanced meal for kids

The Five Food Groups

The USDA has divided most foods into five food groups:

the fruit group

the vegetable group

the grains food group

the dairy food group

the protein food group

There are some foods that don't fit into any of these food groups because they do not have enough nutrients and are predominantly "empty calories".  Empty calories means they are mostly sugar and/or fat.

In order for your family and child to have a healthy well balanced meal, they will need to eat or drink foods from each of these food groups.  

Each food group is rich in certain vitamins and minerals.  By eating a diet that is made up from each of these food groups, your child will be getting the nutrients they need to grow healthy and fight off disease.  

Food Group Servings

However, your body needs more of some food groups and less of others.   healthy foods

 In general, your body needs more fruits and vegetables.  That is why the USDA My Plate shows us what a healthy plate looks like:

  • 1/2 with fruits and vegetables
  • 1/4 with meat
  • 1/4 with grains
  • 1 serving from the dairy group

To find out how much foods your child needs, visit our meal planner tool or for a print the daily requirements for your child.

Learn more about the key messages of the five food groups.










See All Our Nutrition Articles

Written by Maggie LaBarberaWritten on Aug 12, 2012Last updated on Oct 16, 2013




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