Nurse News

What’s on your plate? – My Plate replaces, My Pyramid

In June 2011, My Plate officially replaces My Pyramid for visually representing the USDA’s (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Dietary Guidelines. My Plate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image.


Key differences between My Plate and My Pyramid

• Less emphasis on grains, but still a large emphasis on whole grains.
• Oils and sugar are no longer mentioned.
• The focus on plate is on Portion vs. Serving size, which is easier for you to follow.


10 Tips to a great plate

1. Balance calories Find out how many calories you need for a day.

2. Enjoy your food, but eat less Take the time to fully enjoy your food as you eat it. Eating too fast or when your attention is elsewhere may lead to eating too many calories.

3. Avoid oversized portions Use a smaller plate, bowl, and glass. Portion out foods before you eat. When eating out, choose a smaller size option, share a dish, or take home part of meal.

4. Foods to eat more often Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or 1% milk and dairy products.

5. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert.

6. Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk They have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.

7. Make half your grains whole grains To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product.

8. Foods to eat less often Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt. They include cakes, cookies, ice cream, candies, and pizza. Use these foods as occasional treats.

9. Compare sodium in foods Use the Nutrition facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals.

10. Drink water instead of sugary drinks Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar, and calories.

For more informations: Choose my Plate –
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) –

Meg Kamei
TIS School Nurse