MyPlate is a useful illustration from the USDA to help consumers choose appropriate foods and understand portion sizes in order to build a healthy diet. MyPlate was created in 2011, replacing the traditional food pyramid, and provides a more practical approach to healthy eating. By using this guide at meals, MyPlate helps busy families direct their choices and provides a simple reminder of how to portion your plate.
How Do I Use This Tool?
MyPlate should be used as a general guideline to help build a healthier plate. By looking at the image, it makes it easy to translate to your plate, aiming to include fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, grains, and calcium-rich dairy in appropriate proportions. Although it may not be necessary to include each group at every meal, the icon is the perfect reminder for choosing nutrient-dense foods first. Remember, the five groups highlighted are the main building blocks for a healthy diet, but portion sizes play an important role in a balanced meal, too!
What is a Portion?
A portion refers to the size or quantity of food recommended to consume at each meal. Portion sizes vary depending on age, gender and weight.
Bottom Line: It is important to focus on consuming a variety of foods throughout the day. Due to the fact that our bodies require a variety of vitamins and minerals, there is not one food that will provide us EVERYTHING we need, thus MyPlate is an excellent reminder to focus on balance.