What’s On Your Plate?

Remember the Food Guide Pyramid from the 1990’s?  It was released by the USDA in 1992 as a tool to help us plan a healthy diet.  The Food Guide Pyramid divided foods into food groups and recommended the number of servings to eat daily.  While it was a great way to help us learn about the food groups, it didn’t show us how to plan each meal.  To remedy this, the Food Guide Pyramid was replaced with MyPlate in 2011.

What is MyPlate?

MyPlate focuses on one meal at a time and helps you build a healthy plate.  Again, it divides your plate into food groups, with your dairy on the side.  As you can see, half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables.  The other half of your plate should be proteins and grains.  Don’t forget to include dairy at each meal.

Here are some basic tips:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains.
  • Choose low fat dairy.
  • Choose lean meats.

Which foods fall into each food group? 

Check out the following link: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups

Here you can find information on each of the food groups, along with tips on making healthy choices from each group.

But what about my budget?

Many people want to eat healthier, but feel that healthy food just costs too much money.  Not to worry!  With a little planning, you can make healthy foods fit into your grocery budget.  Check out the following tool from the USDA, called ‘Meeting Your MyPlate Goals On A Budget’:  http://www.choosemyplate.gov/budget/downloads/MeetingYourMyPlateGoalsOnABudget.pdf

This booklet provides you with great ideas for healthy foods that are inexpensive and gives you tasty recipes on how to create the perfect plate!

For more information and meal planning tips, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

-Joy Douglas, MS, RD, LD