Explain the nutritional value of the main food groups.

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.1: Support healthy lifestyles for children through the provision of food and nutrition
Learning outcome: Understand the nutritional needs of children
Assessment criteria: Explain the nutritional value of the main food groups.

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There are five main food groups: starchy carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, dairy, protein and oils and spreads. Each food group contains different nutrients that are essential for our bodies.

Starchy carbohydrates: Starchy carbohydrates include potatoes, bread, rice and pasta. They are a good energy source and contain vitamins and minerals such as iron and B vitamins.

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Fruit and vegetables: Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and folic acid. They also contain fibre, which is essential for keeping our digestive system healthy.

Dairy: Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are a good source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. They also contain protein and vitamins A and B12.

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Protein: Protein-rich foods include meat, fish, beans and lentils. They are a good source of energy and contain vitamins and minerals such as iron and B vitamins.

Oils and spreads: Oils and spreads provide essential fatty acids, which our bodies need to stay healthy. They also contain vitamin E.

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The Eatwell Guide shows how much of our food should come from each food group. It is important to eat a variety of foods from each food group to get the nutrients our bodies need.

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