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 Claire Posted by Claire Blais, a Registered Dietician at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.


You may remember us introducing you to MyPlate.  It’s one thing to talk about which foods go where on a plate, but it’s another to put it to into practice!  With Labor Day approaching, many of you will be headed to cookouts.  Read on to learn about using MyPlate before you fire up the grill!

Burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips, cake, ice cream – all  your favorites will be at the cookout. This is a time to enjoy the company of friends and family as well as some good food without having to break your calorie budget.  Using MyPlate, you can easily control your portions while still enjoying the spoils of the day. 

Your plate last year might have contained a hamburger (protein) with the bun (starch), potato salad (starch #2), corn on the cob (vegetable), a brownie (starch #3), and a regular soda (sugar). This plate contains one protein, one vegetable, and three starches. That doesn’t really fit on the new plate, does it? 

What if you tried a hamburger or turkey burger (be sure to use turkey breast meat!) with a bun, a tomato cucumber salad, and a berry parfait?  Now we have a protein, 1-2 starches, a vegetable, a fruit, and a dairy.  Your new plate looks a lot like MyPlate!

What’s that? You say you can’t live without potato salad? Okay. Have the burger, skip the bun, bring your own reduced-fat potato salad, and add the berry parfait and tomato-cucumber salad listed above!

If all else fails, remember this is just one day.  Do the best you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you eat a few potato chips.  You’ll have plenty of time to practice before taking MyPlate to Thanksgiving!

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