Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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MyPlate Or No Plate?

Taking baby steps to better nutrition, one tip at a time.

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Healthy portions on a plate.Have you been using MyPlate since it came out to help visualize portions and food groups on your plate? A few weeks ago, I covered an introduction to the MyPlate icon, after it was unveiled by the USDA.  Now, it’s time to put the plate into action!

MyPlate is a great tool to aid in visualizing portion control, as well as the amount of each food group we should be consuming daily. However, even with simple guidelines, many people still don’t get the recommended daily amounts of these nutritious food groups! Did you know the average person consumes 50 percent less fruits and dairy and 30 percent fewer servings of vegetables than MyPlate recommends?

Below are some simple tips to help you and your family incorporate MyPlate into your busy life:

  • Plan ahead!  Plan meals and snacks for the week ahead of time and you’re less likely to hit the drive thru! Planning ahead also ensures healthy, fresh foods to help keep your energy up throughout the day.
  • Portion control, portion control!  The new MyPlate is a plate, not a platter. To help create the illusion that there is more food on your plate than is actually there, swap out traditional dinner plates for salad plates. Another great tip is to store leftovers BEFORE the meal to keep from going back for seconds.
  • Eat more fruit!  Start breakfast by tossing some frozen fruit into your oatmeal, cereal, or smoothie for a satisfying morning jumpstart. For lunch, try a salad topped with fresh strawberries or pear for a yummy summer dish. It’s also a good idea to keep a fruit salad on hand to help satisfy the munchies during the day.
  • Kids should eat veggies too!  Kids should try everything at least once, even if they think they don’t like it. As kids grow, their taste preferences change and what they didn’t like yesterday, they may like today! If your kids are still turning up their noses, try adding a little grated cheese on top to help mask the flavor.

I know life is busy and it may seem impossible to get your day’s worth of nutritious foods. I challenge you to take baby steps by using one tip at a time!

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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