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Choose My Plate, The New 2010 Dietary Guidelines Food Icon

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.

choose my plate usda food icon

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.

To simplify these guidelines for your kids, use the Healthy Kids Plate!

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06/02/2011 10:24am
I am actually suprised at the change but I think it is a good change and is a better visual for people. We were given this type of plate for my daughters weight loss program and work hard to follow the same type guidelines.
06/02/2011 5:16pm
WOW! You are 1 step ahead of the USDA!! I knew that you were onto something! I personally think the "plate" method is easier for my kids to visualize serving size and what's missing from their meal. Thanks for the concept!
06/02/2011 8:09pm
Thanks for sharing Nicole! Did it help your daughter?
06/04/2011 6:43am
You have one up on the USDA. They don't talk about size/portion control. For all I know, that might be a BIG plate, but yours gives child size portions. Yours is better.
06/07/2011 8:41am
I like that we moved toward a plate icon; however, I still think many Amerians are going to mess this up! I demonstrated 10 ways this model could make you FAT in my blog post today - Try to identify them for a chance to win a FREE Starbucks gift card!
09/08/2011 9:46am
I hsve a lil sis who refuses to eat veggies can you help me?
11/02/2012 4:27am
Thanks for shareing helful info.
Joe Strandell
12/20/2012 1:25pm
Thanks for the cool info :) I love your blog! So many great articles... I thought you might like to know that is offering 10% off their products with the code ORALCARE :)  Happy holidays!
Brenda DeHaan
01/01/2013 7:08pm
Do you have the myplate for adult size portions? Being a diabetic, it would be really helpful as a visual aid as to the correct portions. Any place I could purchase adult plate?
03/31/2013 11:53am
This is a great idea! Where can I buy this plate? It is really helpful for my kids. Anyway, thanks for sharing!
04/02/2013 5:45am
Hi Jim! We sell them under our products tab here:
07/10/2013 6:47am
I use this plate with many of my own clients when trying to teach the importance of a balanced diet. Its simple, easy to follow and it works. Most of us put on weight due to a lack of education about food groups and portion control. We should all have one of these!
07/10/2013 11:12am
totally agree Julie! Thanks for stopping by.

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