It’s been almost 7 months since the US government revealed MyPlate, a new graphic meant to replace the MyPyramid. Those of you that know me know that I am a huge fan.
I use “the plate” to teach kids, teens and adults alike; even my own children often eat off “the plate.” While I see it as a very simple and straightforward tool, not everyone is using it. For one, not everyone has heard of it. Secondly, knowing what to do is only half the battle. Changing eating behaviors is one of the hardest things to do.
I’d like to challenge my readers (that’s YOU!) to do one thing. Each day this week, choose one meal from the day and aim to fill the plate as it was meant to be filled. Focus on getting a serving of healthy lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy and some whole grains! It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to include all of the groups. I want you to see how easy it can be to put healthy foods into your body. Here are some examples:
For Breakfast try:
Eggs scrambled with spinach, tomatoes & mushrooms, a side of whole wheat toast w/tsp fat, a small banana & a cup of skim milk
French toast made with light wheat bread, 1 scrambled egg & 1 egg white, chopped tomatoes and 3/4 c cantaloupe with 1 cup skim milk. (Use a bit of syrup or pureed strawberries over the French toast)
For LUNCH try:
Whole wheat pasta with meat sauce & marinara, 12 grapes, carrots and 1/2 cup yogurt
Turkey & ham sandwich with 1 ounce Swiss on light whole wheat bread, green beans and cantaloupe
For DINNER try:
Chicken, whole grain rice, 1 cup cooked kale w/pine nuts, a small apple and a cup of low-fat or skim milk
Pan-seared tilapia w/sunflower seeds or almonds, 1/2 c quinoa w/red peppers, mixed vegetables, 3/4 c cantaloupe and a cup of milk.
I use these examples because they are easy to prepare meals. There are no long recipes to follow, no unusual ingredients to purchase and they all taste great! As you try to incorporate healthier foods onto your plate, remember these 3 key messages:
- Balance calories (reduce portions)
- Increase certain foods (vegetables, fruits and whole grains)
- Reduce other foods (sodium and sugary drinks)
I hope you have fun with your goal this week! I’d love to see what you’re putting on “YourPlate,” so feel free to send me photos! You might even get your healthy meal highlighted in my next post or article!
For more information and education on the MyPlate visit the website at www.choosemyplate.gov