MyPlate: Tips for Healthy Eating

Your Grandma planned meals from basic food groups. Mom relied on the food pyramid. Now, the USDA has released MyPlate, a visual guide to healthy eating for our generation!

FDA's MyPlate graphic"When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we're already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it's tough to be a nutritionist, too," says First Lady, Michelle Obama. "But we do have time to take a look at our kids' plates. As long as they're half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we're golden. That's how easy it is."

What's on the Plate?

Vegetables have vitamins, minerals and fiber and most are low in calories. Fit more vegetables in your meals. It's easier than you think! Keep ready to eat raw vegetables in the frig, add to sauces or spring a new recipe on the family.

Hide it! Get out that cute mini food processor and puree the super veggies with a little water. Make yourself a smooth and creamy puree that will hide perfectly in all kinds of meals kids already like to eat. ~Missy Chase Lapine

Fruit provide healthy nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid and reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. Eat them fresh, canned, frozen, dried, whole, cut-up, or pureed.

When you cut out the excess sugar in your diet (like cookies) God's own sweet fruit will taste amazing to you, like it should. ~girlisrad aka Joee

Whole grains reduce your risk of chronic disease. They contain the entire grain kernel -- the bran, germ, and endosperm. Chose products that list a wholegrain ingredient first on the label. Examples are "whole oats," "whole rye," or "wild rice."

These days it's as simple as picking the RIGHT choice off the shelf. Be careful! All that reads 100% wheat is not always a whole grain product! ~Bonita aka Bonnie

Protein foods include both animal and plant sources. Embrace variety and experiment with main dishes starring beans or peas, nuts, soy, and seafood.

What breakfasts help you make it till lunch? Breakfasts with protein! An egg white omelet filled with veggies and cooked in a touch of olive oil keeps me full and satisfied. ~Jules aka Julie

Dairy products provides calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein, and other nutrients. Keep bones strong with low fat options.

Caffeinating? If so, get your calcium along with your morning caffeine boost. Make or order coffee, a latte or cappuccino with fat-free or low-fat milk. ~USDA tipsheet #6

Tips to a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Enjoy your food, but eat less
2. Watch portion sizes
3. Fruits and vegetables cover half your plate
4. Switch to fat-free or 1% low-fat milk
5. Make at least half your grains whole grains
6. Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose foods with lower numbers
7. Drink water instead of sugary drinks
8. Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fat-free or 1% milk and dairy products
9. Cut back on food high in solid fats, added sugars and salt such as cake, cookies, sweetened drinks, pizza, chips, bacon, and hotdogs

Any pros or cons you see to the new MyPlate? Share your thoughts by commenting!

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