Officially revealed, the new USDA dietary guidelines have been symbolized in the shape of a plate called MyPlate. I couldn’t be more excited. This idea is nothing new for registered dietitians, as they’ve been teaching this for years. It is definitely a better way for the USDA to teach the public how their guidelines translates into what they should be putting on their plates.
As soon as the pyramid was turned on its side, it got confusing for consumers. The food plate however is an easy tool! My kids have been using the plate for years, and it is a good reminder for us to eat a balanced meal every meal. It can be used for those who eat vegetarian meals, low carb, low fat, and even gluten free!
I will be the first to admit that it is not easy to eat this way! We have to make a conscious effort at every meal to construct our meals in a balanced manner with half fruits and vegetables. It’s much easier to eat a big chunk of steak, or lots of bread. But remember that half our meals should be fruits and veggies help us to eat healthier, with less calories.
The new 2010 USDA dietary guidelines are summarized as follows:
- Balance Calories
- Enjoy food but eat less.
- Avoid oversized portions
- Foods to increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Switch to low-fat or fat free milk.
- Foods to reduce.
- Choose low sodium foods.
- Cut back on foods high in fat and sugar
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
The food philosophy in our house is similar. The dietary guidelines we live by are:
- Eat from every food group, each day- before you eat any treats.
- Only drink water and homemade juices.
- Pack your own lunch- but it must include an item from each food group.
- Make it homemade! We love our treats, but we don’t purchase them made in a factory. Homemade cookies, homemade candies, and especially homemade meals.
- Always make half your meals fruits and veggies. For example, If you want a second helping of a roll, you must first eat two servings of vegetables.