MyPlate makes sense. It’s easy to read and understand. Children won’t have a hard time figuring out how it works, but what exactly is MyPlate all about?
Some people didn’t like the original food pyramid because they felt it contributed to the obesity epidemic. Many couldn’t wait for the Department of Agriculture to revise it.
Not much changed with the dietary requirements of the pyramid or in 2007’s revision, and a lot of people were disappointed by that. Many of the changes were in the presentation of the guidelines, which was supposed to make them easy for people to understand so they could follow them and make healthier food choices.
The original food pyramid seemed fairly simple, but a lot of people misunderstood the servings for each food group or weren’t even sure what a serving size was,. It eventually led to oversized portions and overeating. So, the revised pyramid never caught on and has been retired.
MyPlate has replaced the original and revised food pyramid. It looks like a place setting, which may help to visualize portion sizes of the five food groups (fruit, vegetable, grains, protein, and dairy).
First Lady, Michelle Obama, is quoted as saying, “This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country.” She went on to say, “When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates. As long as they’re half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we’re golden. That’s how easy it is.”
The main message of MyPlate is that everyone can build a customized plan in order to eat healthier. You can do this by:
- Avoiding oversized portions
- Making half of your plate fruits and vegetables and eating unsalted nuts as snacks
- Switching to fat-free or low-fat milk, or calcium-rich soy drinks as an alternative to dairy
Eating grains and making sure that half of those grains are whole grains
- Varying your choice of proteins by eating seafood at least twice a week, eating beans, and eating small portions of lean meat and poultry
You should still have a daily food plan, but take a look at your plate and you will know if you are on track. If your plate is full of chicken nuggets, pizza or pasta, it isn’t a healthy diet that represents all of the food groups.
The dietary guidelines haven’t changed, only how it looks. By using the MyPlate site, you will begin to start other healthy habits like:
- Enjoying your food, but eating less.
- Eating fruit for dessert
- Making half of your grains whole grains
- Eating several proteins
- Cutting back on sweet treats
- Avoiding extra salt by reading nutrition labels
- Drinking water instead of sugary drinks
The MyPlate site includes sample menus, recipes that are based on the food groups and ideas that will get your kids to start eating fruits and vegetables.
Eating healthy is important to staying healthy. Will this new MyPlate food guide help to accomplish that? Try it out and find out for yourself.