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Childhood Nutrition Facts from CDC

Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and to prevent various health conditions. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people aged 2 years or older follow a healthy eating pattern that includes the following2:

  • A variety of fruits and vegetables

  • Whole grains

  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy products

  • A variety of protein foods

  • Oils

These guidelines also recommend that individuals limit calories from solid fats (major sources of saturated and trans fatty acids) and added sugars, and reduce sodium intake. Unfortunately, most children and adolescents do not follow the recommendations set forth in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Healthy eating can help individuals achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, consume important nutrients, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • Cancer

  • Osteoporosis

  • Iron deficiency

  • Dental caries (cavities)

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