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Build A Healthy Plate

MyPlate Takes Its Healthy Eating Message Viral 

MyPlate is on a mission. This colorful little icon – the visual reminder that each meal we eat should include food groups in designated portions – is looking to turn our less-than-healthy plates into vibrant, healthful ones – in short, to help us “Build a Healthy Plate”. If your plate has been looking a little behind the times when it comes to health – maybe it’s missing a variety of colors, or maybe it’s light in the fruit and vegetable department, or maybe it’s become too comfortable holding all those fats, salts and sugars – don’t beat yourself up. It happens. It just means that the “Build A Healthy Plate” message is perfect for you.

We know why we want to build a healthy plate – who wouldn’t be on board with fighting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease just by enhancing, modifying, or adding to our plate at mealtimes. But how can we excel in doing it?  According to Choosemyplate.gov, it’s simple if you follow these steps to healthy plate-building:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk (dairy).
  • Make at least half your grains whole.
  • Compare sodium, sugars, and saturated fats in foods and choose the foods with lower numbers.

Of course, you can just use the MyPlate icon as the centerpiece of healthy eating. By following the USDA Dietary Guidelines for portion size and food groups, you can start balancing calories, increasing what you need more of (like fruits and vegetables) and decreasing what you don’t (like sodium and sugary drinks). Then, voilà – you’ve built a healthy plate. And if you build it, health will come.

Need Healthy Plate Tips? You Got ‘Em! 

One way to keep your eyes on the health prize and Build a Healthy Plate is to take advantage of the MyPlate Ten Tips Nutrition Education Series. As part of the “ten tips” effort, easy-to-follow tips become everyday reminders by providing convenient, printable tip sheets that are perfect for the fridge. That way, if it’s not on your mind, it will be in your sight line. If you want to add more fruit to your day, pop this Focus on Fruit tip sheet up on the fridge. It will remind you that you can get a more fruit-full plate by using frozen fruit, for instance, and not missing a serving at breakfast.

USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend
2 cups of (fresh or frozen) fruit every day.

You can download other tip sheets at ChooseMyPlate.gov including tips for choosing more kid-friendly fruits and veggies and tips for eating better on a budget.

Pinning a Healthy Plate

MyPlate is going social. The healthy eating blitz includes collaboration with Let’s Move!, the initiative launched by Michelle Obama to solve the challenge of childhood obesity. MyPlate and Let’s Move! are coming together on the MyPlate Recipes Pinterest page which highlights healthy recipes from all over the digital world. The over 1,000 recipes pinned have been identified as nutritious meals that are easy for families to make in the real world. The goal? To make healthy recipes accessible to everyone. “We have to meet home cooks where they are,” said Larry Soler, CEO of Partnership For A Healthier America. “And millions of them visit our partner sites as well as Pinterest every month.” Dishes from sites like CookingLight.com, Epicurious.com, RealSimple.com, and Delish.com have made the healthy cut and appear on the recipes board. No wonder the board is being called a one-stop-shop where parents, beginner home cooks and even the most experienced chefs can find and share healthier recipes.

Need An Upgrade? 
These Chicken Nuggets & Fries
with Wild Blueberry Ketchup Sauce

make a great healthy plate makeover!

Read Michelle Obama Pairs with Pinterest to Highlight Healthy Recipes, and start perusing healthy pins, or visit the Wild Blueberries Pinterest page for healthy, antioxidant-rich pin-spiration!

Give Your Plate a MyPlate Makeover! 

Maybe your plate needs a fresh new start, or maybe you’ve been wearing the same plate since high school. It’s time for a MyPlate makeover! Have you got a before and after photo of your made-over plate? Did you find a healthy plate or lower calorie plate while you were at a restaurant? Maybe you spied a fruit bowl instead of a dozen donuts at your workplace – that’s a made-over plate! Give it props by sharing your made-over plate with us or telling us about it on Facebook.

MyPlate is on Facebook. Become a fan of their page and be among the first to hear about new MyPlate resources, materials, and tips for healthy eating at the MyPlate Facebook page.

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