For most of our lives, we looked to the Food Pyramid ("MyPyramid") to show us how many servings we need every day from each of the food groups. However, times are changing and so are the shapes we use to understand how much food we should be eating. Pyramids are out, and round plates are in.
Many nutritionists felt MyPyramid was too confusing for people. This past June, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a new symbol to help people learn to eat healthy. To help make MyPlate a little easier to understand, we figured we’d break it down for you here.
The new MyPlate shows a placemat with a plate divided into different sections for protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables. The small circle off to the side is for dairy, and the shape is not an accident. They’re hoping that you get the hint that milk and yogurt are better choices for dairy than cheese, as long as they are fat-free or low-fat.
You’ll notice there’s no longer a section for “oils”. We noticed, too. Most people consume the fat they need just through their regular food intake alone.
Half the plate is reserved for fruits and vegetables. Many nutritionists have taught this “balanced plate” method for years, because it is easier both to teach and to understand than actual serving sizes. It’s not always understood that one serving of blueberries is ¾ cup, while one serving of strawberries is 1¼ cups.
The other half of the plate is dedicated to the grains and the protein. What we’d like to point out here is that potatoes – in any form – belong in the grains section. Yes, technically, potatoes are vegetables. But your body uses them more like grains. So save yourself some starch, and don’t have fries and rice at the same meal.
Be sure to check back throughout the rest of summer and fall for more MyPlate-themed blogs. We’ll be showing you how to bring MyPlate to cookouts, back to school, and to holiday parties! After all, what good is this plate going to do if we don’t teach you how to use it? Happy eating!
Do You Have a Picky Eater in the Family? posted on Aug 25
By Jennifer Navaroli, RD, LDN and Kaitlin Barragan, RD, LDN “No broccoli for me! I don’t want anything green!” Sound familiar? Picky eating is a common frustration that many parents may struggle with at one point or another. Some may worry that their child is …Continue Reading Do You Have a Picky Eater in the Family?
Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child posted on Aug 24
As a parent, you want to do what is best for your child. You’re probably aware of the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep kids safe. But did you know that one of the best ways to protect your child …Continue Reading Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child
Vaccines: Not Just for Kids! posted on Aug 17
You might think that vaccines are only for children – but in truth they’re valuable for adults as well. Are you one of the millions of adults not aware of the vaccines you need? There are many reasons why adults should be vaccinated. Each year, …Continue Reading Vaccines: Not Just for Kids!