MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is the biggest change in the U.S. government’s visual representation of how we should eat — since the last time the government issued a visual representation of how we should eat.
Out with the food pyramid; in with the food plate. So, what would it really look like if we ate the food the United States Department of Agriculture suggests?
“I think it’s a huge step forward in helping people understand how to eat better,” said Sue Moores, a Registered Dietitian, echoing most of what farmers and nutritionists have been saying.
My Plate shows a plate with close to equal parts of fruit, vegetables, protein and grains along with a side serving of dairy.
Unlike the 1984 Food Wheel,and the 2005 multi-colored My Pyramid, this concept is simple.
“Half of what I eat at every meal should be fruits and/or vegetables,” said Moores.
Moores prepared a sample menu: for breakfast, a serving of whole grain cereal, mixed with yogurt and sliced strawberries. Not many eat vegetables at breakfast.
“Right, the point is that half of what you eat should be produce,” said Moores.
Lunch is simple: a cheeseburger on a whole grain bun, topped with spinach.
“Still have this half a plate to fill up with fruits and vegetables,” said Moores.
She used strawberries on the side, and suggested adding another side salad.
For dinner, Moores suggests, “a chicken breast, for protein a serving is the size of a deck of cards. The whole grain is brown rice, there’s mango and green beans.”
Three filling meals all within the guidelines, and even room to spare for some healthy snacks, said Moores.
“Maybe not at every meal, but over the day if you say, ‘half of what I had was fruits or vegetables,’ it’s pretty easy,” she said.