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MyPlate - The Updated Food Pyramid

Updated on September 16, 2014

MyPlate Replaces MyPyramid

In June 2011 the Department of Agriculture introduced the new food icon, as a new food guide. With this new guide educators and health care provides now need to learn new ways of teaching students and educating patients and clients about how to eat. replaces the MyPyramid image as the government's primary food group symbol. MyPyramid has been in use since 2005, a pyramid has been our food guide since 1992.

First Lady and nutrition advocate, Michele Obama noted about MyPlate, "This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we're eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country."

Read on to discover more about MyPlate.

Out with MyPyramid (2005) - Introducing MyPlate (2011)

What is MyPlate?

According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate is "an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits." It is a new food icon, designed to replace the old MyPyramid image as our food representation guide.

MyPlate was designed to be consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The MyPlate icon along with creating the website, educational materials and an new educational campaign was developed for a cost of about $2 million.

From a physician and health educator's perspective, the cost to develop a teaching tool that can educate people how to eat better is relatively inexpensive considering that obesity, overweight and physical inactivity costs billions of dollars each year in healthcare.

Introducing MyPlate - The New Food Icon

The announcement about the new food pyramid from the

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The USDA Unveils My Plate Food Guidelines

The new my plate healthy eating guidelines were presented as ways to help make the U.S. healthier and stronger from the USDA.

MyPlate for Moms

MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better: Decoding the Dietary Guidelines for Your Real Life
MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better: Decoding the Dietary Guidelines for Your Real Life
In this helpful new book registered dietitian and author Elizabeth M Ward MS provides information to help Moms decode the new dietary guidelines found in MyPlate and apply them to real life.

Image from
Image from

Eating Tips from MyPlate

ChooseMyPlate Eating Tips

A fun look at the three main healthy eating consumer messages from the University of Nebraska's Extension program.

Key Tips for Healthy Eating

These are the key health messages being promoted to health consumers to help them eat healthier diets.

  1. Balance Calories

    Enjoy your food, but eat less.

    Avoid oversized portions.

  2. Foods to Increase

    Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

    Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

    Make at least half your grains whole grains

  3. Foods to Reduce

    Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.

    Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Resources for MyPlate

Educational Materials for MyPlate

As part of the cost of developing a new food representation guide the website was developed and houses a variety of freely available educational materials have been developed for download and use.

On the site educators and health professionals can find a variety of tips and resources, printed materials and interactive tools to help teach patients, clients and students about MyPlate.

Let's Eat Brochure from USDA.

Food Pyramid Replaced by MyPlate

Slatester, the Video channel for Slate Magazine, says goodbye to the food pyramid and hello to MyPlate.

Portion Sizes of MyPlate

How to Use the New MyPlate

Using the new MyPlate is pretty simple. You translate the image of MyPlate to the plate that you are eating on, then divide up the plate into quadrants and use these quadrants to fill you plate with the foods you are eating.

Looking the the New MyPlate, their recommendations look similar to those originally developed by the American Diabetes Association.

In this new method, the plate is divided into four not quite equal quadrants.

  1. Little less than 1/4 of the plate should be from fruits.
  2. Little more than 1/4 of the plate should be from vegetables.
  3. Little more than 1/4 of the plate should come from grains.
  4. Little less than 1/4 of the plate should come from protein.
  5. Include 1 serving of dairy e.g. milk, yogurt or other calcium source.

Portion Control Plates

Using plates that have the portions defined on the plates makes it easier for many people to figure out how much of which food group they need to eat at mealtime.

Slimware and Bowl Set on Amazon

Slimware's innovative designs, incorporated into the design of the plate, will help remind you of the portions you need to be eating from three of the food groups - Protein, Carbohydrates and Vegetables.

The Measure Up Bowls, with built in measurements, make it easier to make sure you are eating the right amounts of food.

Portion Plates on Amazon

The official "The Portion Plate" for Adults, Children and those with Diabetes.

© 2011 Kirsti A. Dyer


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