Nutrition Month is finally here! We have been waiting to celebrate for a long time now, but we've also been wondering about where to begin. After all, Nutrition Month is such a great time to teach a wide variety of health and lifestyle lessons, whether it's reviewing the basics or adding more detail to previous programs. After we put our heads together, we decided we'd like to start with making a healthful and balanced plate. This lesson can help revitalize meal habits and is a great way to begin a push toward a healthful lifestyle. And what could be a better guide to balancing your plate at each meal than MyPlate? So, without further ado, here is our rundown of the key features of MyPlate.
Meet the Vegetable Group
Fill half your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Eat something from the five veggie groups every day.
- Dark green
- Red and orange
- Peas and beans
A diet rich in vegetables helps reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers.
Meet the Fruit Group
Eat whole fruit more often than you drink 100% fruit juice.
Fruits are an excellent source of fiber, water, vitamins and phytochemicals.
Most fruits are low in sodium, fat, and calories, and all of them have no cholesterol whatsoever.
Try a variety of different fruits every day!
- Stone fruits
- Fleshy fruits
- Pome fruits
Meet the Grain Group
Make sure half the grains you eat are whole grains. Processed grains aren’t nearly as good for you.
Try whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal.
Meet the Protein Group
Keep your portions lean and on just a quarter of your plate.
All these foods are part of the protein group...
- Beans and peas
- Processed soy
Protein is a macronutrient that your body needs in order to function.
Meet the Dairy Group
Keep your portions small and low in fat. There really can be too much of a good thing, especially with the dairy group.
All foods in the dairy group are good sources of calcium, which helps build and maintain bone health.
The dairy group includes...
- Milk-based desserts
- Natural cheeses
- American cheese
We've also got tons of MyPlate and Nutrition Month resources in our store! Download your free MyPlate handout, then check out a few of our favorites below...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.