Introducing the New Food Pyramid

Most legitimate diet programs have a chart or diagram that lists down how much nutrient or vitamin your body needs on a daily basis. The most famous diagram used for nutrition is perhaps the food or diet pyramid that illustrates the ideal serving for each basic food group.

As a parent with growing kids, it is important not only to keep your children well-fed but to feed them the right food for optimal growth. Here is a brief guide to the food pyramid nutrition.

Purpose

The purpose of the food pyramid is to provide an easy guide for healthy eating, which means there is a clear illustration of how much carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fat, and minerals are needed to be healthy. The division of the type of food is based on the type of nutrients they contain. The aim of following the guide is to get the right balance of all the essential good stuff without over-consumption of the other food groups.

Old Pyramid

The structure of the pyramid should tell you that you should not consume more of the food that belongs to the top, but you need to eat more of each food group from the second level to the bottom level. This can be used both to maintain a healthy weight or to gain weight because there is a minimum and maximum number of servings for each food group.

In the old pyramid food group, you should consume sweets, oil, and fats the least because they belong on the top of the pyramid. Below that are classified milk, yogurt, and cheese as well as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts. You should only have 2 or 3 servings per day. After that are the vegetables and fruits, which you will need 2 to 4 servings to meet daily requirements.

At the bottom of the pyramid are bread, cereal, rice and pasta; which means you should eat 6 to 11 servings per day. In the old pyramid, the ideal calorie level for women, children and elderly is about 1,600, while for teenage boys and girls it should be between 2,200 to 2,800.

New Pyramid

The new food pyramid is updated to emphasize a balanced diet without having to count calories. It also has six food groups instead of the five from the old pyramid. Instead of the rows from top to bottom, the pyramid is now divided into columns. On the leftmost column belong grains, especially whole grains in which the daily recommended amount is 6 ounces. Next are vegetables which should equal to 2 ½ cups per day.

After that are fruits which should equal to 2 cups daily. Next is a thin column that belongs to oils which should be consumed sparingly. Next is milk or dairy, which should amount to 3 cups daily. Last are meat and beans which should not be more than 5.5 ounces daily. It even has a recommendation of a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise for adults daily, and 60 minutes minimum for children.

4 Easy Microwave Recipes

Why beat yourself up trying to prepare an elaborate meal that will take hours? All you need for these 5 awesome meals if your trusty microwave oven.

Risotto Primavera

Ingredients: 350 grams risotto rice, 100 grams goat’s cheese, 175 mL white wine, 100 grams asparagus, 850 mL vegetable stock, 500 grams pea and bean mix, and torn mint leaves

Preparation: In a microwave-safe bowl, pour wine and 1/3 of the vegetable stock on the risotto rice. Microwave for 10 minutes while covered in cling film. Take out the bowl and stir the rice before adding the remaining stock then microwave again for 3 minutes while covered.

Take out and stir the rice to add asparagus and pea and bean mix. Microwave while covered for another 7 minutes. Take out the bowl then stir in mint and cheese. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving.

Microwave Enchiladas

Ingredients: 3 cups enchilada sauce, 1 ½ cups water, 12 corn tortillas, 1 ½ cups chicken broth, 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 cup shredded cheddar, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 3 tablespoons rice flour, ¼ cup red chili powder, and salt

Preparation: To make a sauce, heat oil in a pan then cook flour and spices for 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in water and chicken broth until smooth then bring to a boil. Finally, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture looks thick.

To make a filling, mix a cup of enchilada sauce with chicken and cilantro until combined. Spread half a cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a microwave-safe pan. Dip the tortilla in enchilada sauce then spoon the filling and roll. Place these in the pan then spread the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese before microwaving for 5 to 7 minutes.

Meat Loaf

Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef, 1 lightly beaten egg, 2 tablespoons mustard, 5 tablespoons ketchup, ½ cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons onion soup mix, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper

Preparation: In a bowl, mix mustard, egg, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, salt, pepper, soup mix, and bread crumbs with ground beef. Once mixed, form mixture into a loaf then place in a microwave-safe dish with lid. Microwave for 10 to 12 minutes on high heat. In a separate bowl with lid, mix vinegar, ketchup, and vinegar to create a meat loaf sauce. Drizzle on the cooked meat loaf then microwave loaf again for 2 to 3 minutes.

Zucchini and Ham Frittata

Ingredients: 4 cups zucchini, 1 cup cooked and cubed ham, 4 eggs, 1 cup shredded cheddar, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1 onion

Preparation: Combine onion and zucchini in a microwave-safe plate then microwave while covered for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain excess liquid and set aside. In a bowl, whisk eggs, salt, pepper, ham, and cheese until smooth. Pour this on the zucchini then microwave for 8 to 9 minutes.