What’s On YOUR plate?
Well, the government has done it again. Just when we were finally used to the Food Guide Pyramid, as just that, a guide for eating in a healthier manner, we now have a new icon to look at. On June 2nd, Michelle Obama and the head of the Department of Agriculture released the new icon and guide, “ My Plate”. Go to http://www.choosemyplate.gov to see the latest visual designed to guide us into better decision making when planning our meals.
The new icon, based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is much simpler that the previous icon, the Food Guide Pyramid. Its’ crisp graphics depict a place setting with a plate that shows a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy. The icon suggests that half of “your plate” should be made up of fruits and vegetables, and half of your grains should be whole.
I like the new simpler graphics, and think the site has a wealth of simple easy- to- follow information. Sample menus, recipes, and history of development are all easily accessible. Check out the guide “Let’s Eat For the Health of It” also. It is almost too simple-some people want more detailed information, and that can be found as well. Daily Food Plans for preschools, moms and moms to be look especially helpful, and there is a food tracker plan and diet analysis as well. All of these things in one place!
Think of the positive-simple realistic tips that seem elementary, but may guide you into making one small change that can have big payoffs. Every month a different theme will be presented, the first being how to add more fruits and vegetables to your plate. For the organized parent, it may be an addition to keeping on track, and for the unorganized, it pulls it all together to search for your interests and offer tips.
So sit back sometime this week and take a look at your own plate. My 6 year old and I had a good time this week trying to match ours to the icon-of course his was suspiciously absent of fruits or vegetables until I added in the applesauce and vegetable juice he is now starting to like. Small steps!!!Have fun and make it fun for your family.
Laura Zurita is a Montgomery County mom to a 6 year old and a registered dietitian. Her and her family love reading, hiking, watching the next World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, and making fun nutritious snacks to eat at home.