Jun 04 2011

MyPlate replaces MyPyramid: Graehm Gray

 Hello my fans, breaking news: MyPlate has replaced MyPyramid as the new food educational icon for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The round plate shape is in and the pyramid structure is out. The new MyPlate message is the following:

MyPlate - The new eduacational food icon from the USDA

A. Fruits and veggies should now make up half of your daily calorie intake.
B. Grains make up over one quarter and should be mostly whole grains.
C. Proteins make up less than a quarter of the calories for the day and include a recommendation for everyone (except vegetarians) to eat at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week. Less for younger children based on age.
D. Dairy should be either 2 or three cups depending on age and ONLY low fat or fat free.
E. Reduce your sodium intake.
F. Increase water intake and reduce and avoid sugary drinks.

The USDA spent approximately 2 million dollars to develop the new icon which includes promotional monies for the first year of its use. Yes, its simple and appears easier to understand than the pyramid. There is no mention of servings or portions? But I guess that depends on the size of your plate! The largest percentage of the plate goes to the plant foods which without a doubt are the healthiest foods you can consume. Unfortunately, most of us are not eating enough fruits and veggies. What are you waiting for? Low fat and fat free dairy should also be a normal part of our intake. And fish ( a protein source) has so many health benefits. Cut back on the saturated fats, reduce your sodium intake and lower or eliminate your consumption of sugar beverages!

So bottom line, this is a welcome addition to the nutritional education system. For kids, this will be easier to teach and learn. It kind of reminds me of a memory toy that my daughter used as a child. It was round and had four different color panels which would light up in a pattern and you would have to press the panels to repeat the pattern to move ahead in the game. It had a musical sound as well. If we can get our kids to understand the MyPlate icon, also four basic colors representing proteins, fruits, veggies and grains with a circular dairy panel, we will be way ahead of the game. Continual positive reinforcement is necessary to provide a thorough knowledge. Let’s restart Home Economics courses and retool them for the MyPlate generation! It’s our call to order!!

My friends stay fit and healthy the Nerdel Way.

Links:

A. The official site of MyPlate.gov: www.choosemyplate.gov/
B. Let’s Move: letsmove.gov
C. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010: www.choosemyplate.gov/guidelines/index.html

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