This past June, the United States Department of Agriculture said goodbye to the Food Pyramid and introduced a new dietary guide called ‘My Plate’.
‘My Plate’ was designed to explain the components of a well-balanced meal as well as portion sizes. The divided plate shows consumers what their plate (meal) should look like. Half of the plate is devoted to fruits and vegetables, one quarter is grains, and the last quarter is protein. Next to the plate is a glass, or one serving of dairy. ‘My Plate’ has eliminated any reference to sugars, oils or fats. With this new design there is no emphasis on meats, rather the word protein is used making it easy to tailor this food guide to any dietary needs or preferences. Protein can be meat, poultry, fish or tofu. Also, the one serving of dairy can easily be filled by milk, cheese, or non-dairy substitutes such as soy or rice milk.
The goal of ‘My Plate’ is to educate people about making healthy food choices, while being easy to use and understand. With the new design and focus on portion size and control, ‘My Plate’ will serve as a guide for consumers when cooking at home, buying groceries and eating out.
For more information, go to http://www.choosemyplate.gov/. There you will find information on each food group, printouts and activities for children, and more.