As of Thursday June 2nd, the food guide pyramid (which I wasn’t a fan of) is no more! Welcome to the plate method. I’m a huge fan, and we’ve actually been using it at camp for a few years now.

“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating,” Mrs. Obama said. “We’re all bombarded with so many dietary messages that it’s hard to find time to sort through all this information, but we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates.”

If the filled plate looks like the symbol, with lots of fruits and vegetables, she said, “then we’re good, it’s as simple as that.”

It is easy to understand, and I love that it focuses on what we should be eating – not just what we should be removing/reducing from our diets.

From the USDA My Plate website:

Balancing Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

The website has a lot of information that goes into more detail – what’s a grain, how much protein is needed, etc. for those who aren’t familiar with serving sizes, what constitutes a grain and meal plan ideas and recipes.

What do you think of choose my plate? A step in the right direction? Confusing?


17 Comments (Reply )

  1. Michelle {The Lively Kitchen}
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    I don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s MUCH easier to understand and visualize than the most recent bizarre pyramid.


  2. Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    I’m a big fan of this new format. The plate graphic is easier for people to understand and they can better visualize what they should be eating. However have you seen the size of some people’s dinner plates….supersize!


    • Emily
      Jun 03, 2011 @ 10:08 am

      Definitely! Portion sizes and some other “phases” are coming soon!


  3. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    I think it is better than the pyramid, but I wonder why they didn’t nothing about healthy fats/oils? Or are they combined in there somehow?


    • Emily
      Jun 03, 2011 @ 10:47 am

      Yeah, they didn’t really include a lot on fats – maybe that is coming in a future phase. The “medical world” can sometimes be a little behind too in terms of thinking fats are healthy, it can take a while. :)


  4. Sarah Jayne
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    LOVE it! love love love love love it. Everything about it. It has been what we use in our WIC clinics, clients understand it, it is easy to see how to divide your plate. I think it is GREAT!


  5. thehealthyapron
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    While I do think it’s better, I’m still not one to follow the govt guidelines, but it has improved!

    To answer your donut question…they’re more like a muffin (not really donut like at all) but still really good! The banana ones taste like banana bread :)


    • Emily
      Jun 03, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

      What aren’t you a fan of? (I’m just curious and like to hear other opinions!)


  6. Maris (In Good Taste)
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    It amazes me how they keep changing this. It does like a bit easier to navigate. have a nice weekend!


  7. Megan (Braise The Roof)
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    I think it’s a step in the right direction! Of course, the plate diagram doesn’t address the issue of preparation, but at least that big vegetable section is staring us right in the face!


  8. Lori@FakeFoodFree
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

    I’m still wondering if anyone liked the pyramid, including the people who developed it. Ha, ha! I’ll always have my issues, but I think this is a huge step in the right direction. I also really like most of the straight forward tips, especially those that basically say eat less, period. In addition, it’s kinda pretty. :)


  9. catherine (FOOD SNOB)
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    I like the new approach, although I disagree with the dairy — as long as people are getting adequate calcium, omitting 3 glasses of milk per day would omit 300+ calories from the SAD every single day! Plus, I read somewhere that our culture consumes the most dairy, but also has the highest rates of osteoperosis. What gives?


    • Emily
      Jun 04, 2011 @ 10:10 am

      Very interesting point Catherine. While I’m with you on the milk not really being necessary, I think it is a much better alternative to soda and sugary drinks (for kids especially). I guess I would kind of consider dairy part of the protein group.


  10. Roz
    Jun 04, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    Hi Emily, I just found your site via your comment on Erin’s Healthy Apron. Had to say “thank you”. I love your blog – such wonderful information and photos. I’ll be back often! Have a good da.


    • Emily
      Jun 04, 2011 @ 10:07 am

      Thanks Roz!


  11. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 2:05 am

    I love the simplicity of the new design! Finally Americans have a model that is easy to understand (the narrow, color-coded sections on the pyramid were confusing!). We eat off of plates every day, so it makes sense to provide recommendations that reflect that. Cheers to balanced meals!


  12. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 6:13 am

    Definitely a step in the right direction! I love it! :)


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