Your body needs healthy, nutritious foods to help you grow as smart and as strong as you can. Everything you are made of-skin, hair, muscles, feet, brain, ears, blood, and fingernails-is made from the food you eat. So it better be good! Your body needs about 40 different substances, called nutrients, from food.

Food provides:

Carbohydrates-are the primary energy source in our foods. Your body uses these foods to help you play, run, think, and even to just sit still. Carbohydrates can be either starches, sugars, or fibers.

Proteins-are the building blocks for your body. The protein in foods help you grow big and strong. It also helps build and repair all body cells. Protein foods are eggs, fish, chicken, meat, and beans.

Fats-are another source of energy. Certain types of fat provide us with essential fatty acids that our body cannot make. To keep healthy and fit, its important not to overdo foods very high in fat. Some examples of really high fat foods are snack foods such as potato chips, and fast foods such as cheeseburgers and fries.

Minerals-are found in rocks and also in nutritional foods. Some foods contain lots of minerals while others contain only a small amount. Calcium and phosphorus are minerals that help build strong bones and teeth. Iron is the mineral that makes blood red. Other minerals help the body turn food into energy, help muscles move, and allow the body to do all that it does.

Vitamins-are called by letters and numbers and area also needed by the body to stay healthy. You need vitamins from food because your body cannot make them itself. Some vitamins make your skin healthy and others are important for healing wounds. Examples of vitamins are Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B1.

There sure is a lot that comes from eating! Sometimes it seems like hard work to get all the things your body needs. Just try to remember to eat a variety of foods. Be sure to drink milk, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.