The MyPlate icon is a guideline to
help you and your child eat a healthy diet. MyPlate can help you and your child eat
variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat.
The USDA and the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services have prepared the plate to guide parents in choosing foods
children age 1 and older.
The MyPlate icon is divided into 5
food group categories, emphasizing the nutritional intake of the following:
Grains. Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or
another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole-wheat, brown rice,
and oatmeal. Aim for mostly whole grains.
Vegetables. Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables,
including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and
Fruits. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group.
Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut up, or
pureed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 4 to 6
limit fruit juice to 4 to 6 ounces daily, while children ages 7 to 18 should limit
juice to 8 ounces or 1 cup of juice per day.
Dairy. Milk products and many foods made from milk, like yogurt and
cheese, are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat
products, as well as those that are high in calcium.
Protein. Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry.
Vary your protein routine. Choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.
Oils are not a food group, yet
some, like nut and other plant oils, have vital nutrients. They should be included
the diet in small amounts. Animal fats are solid fats and should be avoided.
Exercise and everyday physical
activity should also be included with a healthy dietary plan.