Resources - Nutrition Information
Good nutrition is important for everyone. Healthful diets help children grow, develop,
and do well in school. They enable people of all ages to work productively and feel
their best. Eating right can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and
high blood cholesterol. Further, a daily healthy diet will reduce the risk of chronic
disease such as heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis.
Proper nutrition requires an appropriate amount of energy and nutrients. Many people
in the US consume energy surpassing their body needs. This can lead to obesity which
is a risk factor for many diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It
is important to remember that, although an overweight person may be getting more
energy than needed, he or she may not be getting all of the necessary nutrients.
Eating a daily diet that includes adequate amounts of bread, cereal, grain, rice,
pasta, vegetables, and fruit, with limited levels of fat, can promote health and
reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. You can help the people
who use your pantry or meal program to be healthier by providing nutritious foods.
But what foods should you provide and in what quantity? Nutritional needs change
throughout the life cycle. The amount of energy and specific nutrients required
will vary based on age, gender, activity level, and overall health of your clients.
Moreover, the dietary preferences of the United States' population varies widely
based on cultural diversity, religious and regional differences, and personal preferences.
How can a food pantry or meal program satisfy the nutritional needs of a diverse
clientele with a limited and uncertain food supply? The following information and
fact sheets will provide background and suggestions to help you maximize the nutritional
value and usefulness of the foods you provide to your clients.
Nutritional Needs Through the Life Cycle