Healthy Children - September 2018

Girls Health

Confused about what to eat? The ChooseMyPlate guide shows what to shoot for. For example, fruits and veggies should be half your meal. (If that seems hard for each meal, just aim to make them around half your food each day)/ You can use our chart to learn how much to eat from each group, what foods are in each group and more.

Inside each food group:

  • It can be hard to know what to eat to be healthy. Our chart offers helpful info, like how much you should eat from each group. The amounts you should eat depending on how old you are and how active you are. The amounts we list are for girls 9 to 18 who get less than 30 minutes of physical activity each day. More active girls may be able to eat more, so get a plan that is just right for you at
  • And for the best health, remember to mix up your choices within each group. An apple a day is great, but toss in some fruit salad too!

What being active does for your mental health:

  • Did you now being physically active can affect how good you feel? It also can affect how well you do your tasks, and even how pleasant you are to be around. That’s partly because physical activity gets your brain to make “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. Regular physical activity may help you by:
    • Reducing stress
    • Improving sleep
    • Boosting your energy
    • Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression
    • Increasing your self-esteem
    • Making you feel proud for taking good care of yourself
    • Improving how well you do at school

Being physically active is great for your muscles, heart, and lungs. It may even help with nasty PMS symptoms! Some other possible benefits of activity include:

  • Building strong bones. Your body creates the most bone when you are a kid and a teen.
  • Promoting a healthy weight. Obesity is a serious problem among kids in the United States. It can lead to problems with your sleep, knees, heart, emotions, and more, but exercise can help.
  • Helping avoid diabetes. A lot more young people are getting diabetes than ever before. Regular physical activity can help prevent one type of diabetes.
  • Building healthy habits. If you get used to being active now, you will more likely keep it up when you’re older. You’ll thank yourself later!
  • Fighting cancer. Research shows that exercise may help protect against certain kinds of cancer, including breast cancer.
  • Helping prevent high blood pressure. The number of kids with high blood pressure is growing. High blood pressure makes your heart and arteries work extra hard to pump blood. It also puts you at risk for things like kidney and eye disease.

Are you worried that exercise will bulk you up? Exercising won’t give you big bulging muscles. It takes a very intense weightlifting program to get a body-builder look. And exercise and other forms of physical activity can help if you need to lose weight or want to stay at a healthy weight.