Did you know the food pyramid has been replaced by a new design called My Plate? The plate is divided into four sections (fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein) in slightly different sizes to suggest the proportionate amount of each. There is also a small circle on the side of the plate for dairy.
• Serving Size: Unlike the old food pyramid, the plate does not suggest a minimum number of servings people should eat each day. As you can see in the image of the plate, half of the plate is for fruits and vegetables. This is meant to help with any confusion as to what equals a serving.
• Protein: The new plate suggests protein rather than meat. There are many sources of protein besides meat, which is important to keep in mind considering the potential health risks of red meat.
• Less Dairy: The move of diary to the side of the plate suggests low-fat milk rather than cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
The website choosemyplate.gov is designed to reinforce healthy eating habits.
• Enjoy your food while eating less
• Eat fruit for dessert
• Half of your grains should be whole grains
• Eat a variety of protein sources
• Reduce the sweets
• Reduce salt and sodium
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks
The website also has a great list of tips for making healthy foods fun for kids. Start by letting your kids help make the foods. You can make smoothies and let your kids help choose which fruits and help put them in the blender. You can freeze chunks of fruit and insert a stick to make popsicles. Also consider making fun shapes with foods, such bugs on a log and caterpillar kabobs. Add vegetables to stir fries and casseroles.
As a parent, you have the power to influence your children. Be a good eating example by making healthy food choices for yourself. Start by cooking, eating, and talking together at mealtime. Read over this list of tips to be a healthy role model.