Did you know that MyPlate is turning 3 in June? That's right! MyPlate was introduced to the world on June 2, 2011. We're celebrating by giving away some great educational materials, but you'll have to look closely! They're hiding in this post!
How will you celebrate MyPlate's birthday? Is it with balanced eating? A new approach to exercise? How about shopping for healthful foods?
To help with that last approach to celebrating, here's a free guide to going to the grocery store with MyPlate in mind...
MyPlate asserts that if you eat a diet that is balanced with the major food groups, you will get all of the nutrients you need. Proportions are important too. In fact, according to MyPlate, half your plate should be filled with fruits and veggies at each meal. That means that half your shopping cart should be filled with fruits and vegetables too, right? Here’s how to use MyPlate to balance your shopping cart and make healthful meals at home.
Stock up on Vegetables!
- Most people do not get enough veggies.
- Variety is important because, without it, it is harder to get all the nutrients you need.
- MyPlate divides veggies into five groups: dark green, red and orange, beans and legumes, starches, and other. Grab some of each!
- Try this: pick up mostly fresh vegetables that can be used in different forms throughout the week. For example, broccoli at the beginning of the week is great raw with dip. Later in the week, you can steam it and serve it as a side, and then you can puree whatever’s left at the end of the week for soup.
- If you do buy canned or frozen vegetables, keep the sodium content low and watch out for added fats!
- Again, it’s wise to grab mostly fresh fruit and use it in different ways throughout the week.
- If you buy canned or frozen fruits, skip versions with added sugar. That means avoiding fruits canned in syrup or frozen and sweetened. Choose plain frozen fruit and fruit canned in juice instead.
- Dried fruit is a great source of fiber but is often calorie dense, so stick to small portions and only buy it occasionally.
- Even unsweetened fruit juice is very calorie dense. Plus most juice lacks all of the fiber that makes fruit so good for you. Skip it on most of your shopping trips.
- Whole grains are great for your health, especially for your heart and brain.
- MyPlate recommends that most people make at least half the grains they eat whole grains, every day.
- Choose brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, etc instead of their refined grain counterparts.
- Watch out for added sodium, sugars, and saturated fats in any baked goods.
Pick up Protein!
- Choose lean protein sources, consume them in small doses, and eat a variety of different kinds of protein foods.
- Try eggs, beans, lentils, peas, lean poultry, lean red meat, etc.
- Fatty fish is the exception to the rule and is good for your heart in small doses.
Don’t Forget Dairy!
- MyPlate advises people to choose low-fat and nonfat dairy whenever possible.
- That means putting down the sour cream and picking up reduced-fat sour cream or nonfat Greek yogurt instead.
- Skip products with added fats, sodium, and sugars.
Like what you see? Download the MyPlate Shopping Guide handout for free!
And check out our new brand new Nutrition Education Store Design MyPlate Plates:
There are lots of ways to celebrate MyPlate's birthday! Why not try a fun activity using these actual MyPlates? They're plates with MyPlate stamped on them, and they make balancing a plate and controlling portions a snap! Get the details or order some plates today!
If you'd like to celebrate MyPlate's birthday even more, check out the amazing MyPlate educational materials! Some of the most popular are featured below...
There's one last bonus! You can download the amazing MyPlate birthday card with a single click of your mouse. Happy birthday to MyPlate!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.