Two years ago this month, USDA introduced MyPlate, replacing MyPyramid as the visual for the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Why should we celebrate this milestone? Well, for the first time consumers were provided with a clear idea of what a balanced diet should look like! I mean seriously–who eats off a pyramid?? With the launch of MyPlate, moms everywhere could explain easily to their children what they should be eating and show them what that healthy meal looks like and just as easily children can replicate it themselves.
The basis of MyPlate is easy-to-follow, common sense meal planning. Half your plate should be fruit and vegetables–all forms count too! This means fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice. Next make 1/4 of your plate grains and try to make 1/2 of those grains, whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice. The last 1/4 of your plate should be reserved for lean protein like fish, chicken breast, beans, nuts and soy. MyPlate also allows for a dairy serving to provide for calcium. This is a 1 cup amount per meal (3 cups daily) and it should be from low-fat sources.
Since its launch two years ago, MyPlate has expanded to include many useful resources for consumers like its popular tool SuperTracker, which allows users to sign up online and track their food choices and physical activities to see how they progress over time. The online tool also provides tips, nutrition info and allows users to set both weight and activity goals while getting support from their virtual coach. Most recently, MyPlate added Sample Menus and Recipes under their Healthy Eating Tips section, which features numerous Fruits & Veggies–More Matters Healthy Plates that follow the MyPlate guidelines. These easy-to-make, healthy recipes can also be found under the MyPlate on Campus section, designed especially for college student to keep them eating healthy while away from home.
If you frequent Pinterest, you may have stumbled across the very popular MyPlate board. Here you’ll find a variety of boards all featuring MyPlate recipes from popular sites and magazines like Food Network, AllRecipes.com and Diabetic Living. Choose from kid-friendly meals, vegetarian dinners, healthy casseroles and more. Since we’re in the midst of grilling season, I chose this recipe for Grilled Turkey Gyros from Diabetic Living. Spiced turkey patties are wrapped in a whole wheat pita with cucumber, tomato and topped with a cucumber-yogurt sauce. This is perfect for the summer!
Celebrate MyPlate’s birthday this month by treating yourself and your family to some of these MyPlate inspired recipes. They’re so delicious you won’t even realize you’re also eating healthier!