CLASSIFICATION OF FOODS
Scientists have worked out what is known as the “basic seven” food groups. If these foods are included in your diet every day, the needs of your whole family will be met very well, and you will have the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins which you need. Following is a list of suggested “basic seven” foods. These are only examples: there may be others available in your area.
THE BASIC SEVEN FOODS
Green and yellow vegetables and leafy vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, pumpkin, spinach, carrots, and leaves used in your area.
- Fruit—at least two each day—such as bananas, pineapples, mangoes, guavas, paw-paws, oranges, lemons, and apples.
- Vegetables—at least .two each day— such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, onions, mealies (corn), lentils and soybeans.
- Milk and dairy products such as cheese and cottage cheese.
- Protein foods, such as beans, peas, soybeans; groundnuts, arid eggs.
- Whole-grain breads and whole-grain cereals. Whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat cereal and oats (oatmeal) are good examples. White bread is not a whole grain bread because it has only part of the wheat in it, and therefore is not as good for you as whole-wheat bread.
- Fat or oil—a small amount each day— such as palm oil and other oils, butter, cream, and margarine.
These are the “basic seven” food groups. One or two foods from each group should be used in the diet of the whole family every day. The quantities need not be large.
BEST EATING HABITS
Chew your food well. This makes the food easier for the body to use and also gives healthy exercise to the teeth and gums.
Use only clean food. Cooked foods should be well cooked, as heat kills germs.
Eat the smallest meal at night and the largest meal in the morning. The body, including the stomach, was made to work in the daytime and to rest at night.
A person eating a large meal in the evening is likely to have bad dreams and to rest poorly. Drink plenty of water between meals but not with your meals. It is best not to drink for one-half hour before meals, and for one hour after meals.
Regularity in eating is important. Try to have your meals at the same time each day, with four or five hours between meals.
Africa is fortunate to be able to grow so many different kinds of foods, but too many people follow the bad custom of eating just two or three kinds of food day after day. It takes more effort to grow and cook a larger variety of foods, but the reward to be gained in better health is well worth any extra effort. Foods should be chosen that best supply the elements needed for building up the body. In this choice, appetite or likes and dislikes, are not safe guides. You can train yourself to enjoy a healthful diet.
YOU CAN GROW YOUR TASTE OF FOOD
It is possible to grow foods and plan so that each day your family can have a combination of beans or peas, some green or yellow vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole- grain cereals or bread. Such a variety will assure good nutrition, health, and happiness.