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My Plate - USDA revamps the Pyramid

Posted Jun 07 2011 12:00am

Introducing... the new... drumroll, please.... My plate !!
So, the latest is that the USDA has now rolled out its new recommendations on nutrition in a simplified manner. They have now replaced the food pyramid (which has been around for many, many years) with this plate that really makes nutrition much more simple.
It has been heavily criticized by some and defended by others already, in just its first week of debut. But the reality is that the American people needed something more direct and easier for not only busy parents but kids and teens to capture.

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 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.

One thing to keep in mind: Keeping things this straightforward and easy for kids and adults alike to understand decreases the chances that eating disorders will be fostered -- and this is an extremely dangerous bridge that you don't ever want to cross. Gone are the days now where exact calorie-counting is stressed or measuring cups are usual meal preparation tools. Now, it is much easier to just fill up your plate with 1/2 veggies and fruits and the rest divided into protein and grains with a bit of dairy on the side.
Perhaps this plate will evolve into something with a little bit more substance and guidance as time goes by, as, for example, it does not mention what size plates this is based on and, in general, we are using MUCH larger plates than we should -- but it is a definite step in the right direction for families and the important lifestyles education that will ensure them a healthy life for years to come!

Design by / USDA
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