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USDA MyPlate

Updated on September 21, 2012

MyPlate is the New Food Pyramid

On June 2, 2011 First Lady Michelle Obama introduced MyPlate, which is now the new USDA food icon which is intended to replace the old food pyramid. The idea behind MyPlate is that it will help teach individuals how to build a healthy and nutritionally balanced plate at each meal. In place of the food pyramid with a hierarchy of food groups intended to guide our daily food choices, is now the MyPlate icon which is supposed to help us build a healthy plate for each meal.

Image credit: USDA MyPlate official food icon.

The New Food Pyramid is the USDA MyPlate - Out with the old food pyramid and in with the new MyPlate

New Food Pyramid
New Food Pyramid

USDA MyPlate Videos - Videos about the new food pyramid


Recommended daily fruit servings.

USDA Fruit Recommendations

USDA recommendations for fruit servings

The USDA now recommends that half of your meal be made up of fruits and vegetables, though they want less than half of that to be comprised of fruit. To meet the fruit requirements for the USDA MyPlate, you may consume any fruit fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. It may be a whole fruit, cut-up, or pureed. They are even including 100% fruit juices, though the USDA reminds us that juices do not contain fiber that we would get if we chose a whole piece of fruit rather than juice.

Image: Ambro /

Fruits - Wise choices in the fruit food group

  1. Berries
  2. Apples
  3. Cherries
  4. Kiwi fruit
  5. Melons
  6. Oranges
  7. Plums


Recommended daily vegetable servings.

USDA Vegetable Recommendations

USDA recommendations for vegetable servings

The USDA now recommends that the majority of our diet be made up of vegetables. It is recommended that half of a meal be fruits and vegetables, but more vegetables than fruit. According to the USDA, vegetables may be raw or cooked and can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dehydrated. Your vegetable servings can be whole, cut-up, or mashed.

Image: winnond /

Vegetables - Wise choices in the vegetable food group

  1. Squash
  2. Carrots
  3. Beans
  4. Artichokes
  5. Broccoli
  6. Spinach
  7. Cucumbers
  8. Okra


Recommended daily servings of protein.

USDA Protein Recommendations

USDA recommendations for protein servings

Gone are the old days when most meals had a large serving of protein, which was usually meat. The new USDA MyPlate recommends that less than 1/4 of your meal be protein. Proteins include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds. Beans and peas are part of the protein and the vegetable food groups.

Image: Suat Eman /

Proteins - Wise choices in the protein food group

  1. Beans and peas
  2. Nuts
  3. Fish
  4. Eggs
  5. Poultry
  6. Lean meats


Recommended daily servings of grain.

USDA Grain Recommendations

USDA recommendation for grain servings

Foods made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other grain are part of the grain food group. Breads, pastas, cereals, oatmeal, and tortillas are all examples of grain products. The USDA recommends that the majority of the grain products we consume be made of whole grains.

Image: Grant Cochrane /

Grains - Wise choices in the grain food group

  1. Oatmeal
  2. Whole wheat breads and pastas
  3. Popcorn
  4. Brown rice


Recommended daily servings of dairy.

USDA Dairy Recommendations

USDA recommendations for dairy servings

All foods that are made with milk and retain their calcium value are a party of the dairy food group. This includes milk, cheese, flavored milk, and yogurt. Calcium fortified soy milk and other soy products are also a part of the dairy food group. Foods made from milk, but that do not retain their calcium value, such as butter and cream cheese, are not a part of the dairy food group. The USDA recommends that we consume low fat dairy products such as 1% milk.

Image: John Kasawa /

Dairy - Wise choices in the dairy food group

  1. 1% or skim milk
  2. Low fat yogurt
  3. Low fat cheese

Food Guideline Posters - Food pyramid and healthy eating posters

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