Pasta is a perfect foundation for healthy, nutritious and satisfying meals. Pasta is generally eaten with nutrient-dense food partners such as fiber - filled vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish and monounsaturated oils, antioxidant - rich tomato sauce and protein-packed cheeses

There are lots of really good reasons for eating pasta.

Here are seven simple ones showing why pasta is a good food choice for children and their families.

1. Pasta is quick and easy to cook.
2. Pasta and pasta meals are delicious.
3. Pasta and pasta meals are nutritious and healthy foods.
4. Pasta is very flexible and convenient.
5. Pasta is not an expensive food.
6. Pasta can be served hot or cold.
7. Pasta can be served as a main dish or a side dish.
It can also be served in soups, salads, and even in desserts!

How pasta is healthy ?

Thirty-four nutrition scientists from countries in different parts of the world met in Rome in 2004 to discuss pasta and health. After reviewing the most current nutrition science evidence, they prepared a consensus statement summarizing why pasta is a healthy food, and why it forms the basis of healthy meals.

Their conclusions reported :

1. Pasta is a carbohydrate food and carbohydrates are a key ingredient in healthy eating. Around the world, scientists and governments recommend that people divide their calories in this way: 45-60% from carbohydrates, 25-30% from fats and 15-20% from proteins.

2. Pasta is a "good" carbohydrate. One key reason for this: the way pasta is made means that it is digested more slowly than many other foods. This is a health benefit because foods that are digested slowly help your body get the full nutrition benefits of those foods. Slow-release carbohydrates may also have benefits for healthy longevity as well as physical and cognitive performance. This means that eating pasta meals helps children to perform well at school and during their physical activities.

3. Pasta is usually eaten with other healthy foods including olive oil, tomatoes, vegetables, cheese, beans, lean meats and fish. Many families think of pasta as a delicious, convenient and inexpensive way to deliver balanced healthy meals to their families.

4. Pasta does not cause weight gain. If you eat healthy-sized portions of pasta, you will not gain weight. Only if you eat too much of any of your foods will gain weight!

5. Pasta and pasta meals are part of healthy, traditional diets like the Mediterranean diet and the Latin American diet. These ways of eating are recommended by scientists around the world as very healthy.