Today is MyPlate’s Birthday!

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MyPlate for EveryoneMyPlate turns 4 today -- how exciting!

To celebrate, I want to offer you a free MyPlate book.

You see, my team and I have been working feverishly on a brand-new MyPlate book for health educators. It's got 10 chapters, complete with leader guides and handouts, and it's all for you, for free.

Here's the rundown...

  • Chapter 1: MyPlate Overview
  • Chapter 2: Why Use MyPlate?
  • Chapter 3: Meet the Vegetable Group
  • Chapter 4: Meet the Fruit Group
  • Chapter 5: Meet the Grain Group
  • Chapter 6: Meet the Protein Group
  • Chapter 7: Meet the Dairy Group
  • Chapter 8: MyPlate Meal Makeovers
  • Chapter 9: Shopping with MyPlate
  • Chapter 10: 3 Steps to Making MyPlate Your Plate, Every Day

Each chapter has a comprehensive leader guide, handout, and activity pages. There are projects for adults and projects for kids. Lots of games make an appearance, and there are tons of links to more information and extra resources. It's all here, in one handy book!

Today, because it's MyPlate's birthday, I want to offer a preview of this amazing book. So here's chapter 2, in all its glory. You can download a PDF of the preview, or get the whole book today!

Why MyPlate?
Leader Guide for Lesson #2

MyPlate is a WinnerActivity Ideas:

  • MyPlate Commercial: (Adults) Review the health benefits of MyPlate and the first handout in this lesson. Have participants form small groups and improvise commercials for MyPlate, highlighting its health benefits. Variation for kids: As a group, come up with a script for a MyPlate commercial and have volunteers act it out.
  • MyPlate Activity Page: (Kids) Review the highlights of the first handout in this lesson, then pass out copies of the MyPlate activity page and have each child do the puzzles individually. Review the answers as a class.
  • MyPlate Poll: (Adults) Poll the group. Who has balanced his/her plate like MyPlate for at least one meal? More than one meal? Discuss how it went — what was easy, what was hard, etc. Variation for kids: Hand out stickers to each person who made a meal like MyPlate.

Answer Key:

Here are the answers to the word scramble in this lesson.

  2. FIBER

Take It Further!

Prepare a variety of sliced fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-fat dairy and protein choices, and bring them all into class. Assemble a buffet and have your participants balance their plates according to MyPlate.

While they snack, discuss their plates. Was it easy to follow MyPlate’s instructions? Why or why not? What did they put on their plates? Why? What is missing from the plates? What impact could that have on health?

MyPlate and You
Handout #1 for Lesson #2

MyPlate and Your Health:

MyPlate Makes You StrongAccording to MyPlate, “Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke [… and] may protect against certain types of cancers.”

Whole grains are full of fiber, which can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Fiber also shrinks your risk of obesity.

Proteins help build your muscles, bones, and blood.

Dairy foods are rich in calcium, which keeps your bones strong and healthy.

Choose MyPlate to Balance Your Meals:

Add a Salad to Your MealBy making your plate look like MyPlate at each meal, you will balance all of the important nutrients that you need to stay healthy.

If you eat all the nutrients you need without adding a bunch of empty calories, then you are lowering your risk of disease as well.

Empty calories are calories from solid fats or added sugars. They add calories to foods but don’t offer any nutrients to go with them. Without nutrients, your body won’t get the health boost it needs.

It’s easy to make your plate look like MyPlate! Just add healthy foods to each section of your plate (fruit, grains, etc) until it looks like MyPlate. Keep an eye on the size of each section too!

MyPlate Puzzles
Handout #2 for Lesson #2

Unscramble the words below to find great reasons for choosing MyPlate!

  1. Eating a diet that is full of fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of??__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
  2. Whole grains have lots of _____, which can give your health a boost.
    __ __ __ __ __
  3. Choose protein and dairy foods that are low in __________. Skipping this part is good for your heart.
    __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  4. Choose __________ for healthy and balanced meals, every day.
    __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Like what you see? Here's the PDF of Chapter Two. Get the whole MyPlate book too!

MyPlate Book: Chapter 2

There are lots of other wonderful MyPlate resources in the Nutrition Education Store!

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MyPlate Materials Bundle
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MyPlate Activity Workbook
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MyPlate Poster for Kids

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