Healthy food choices should be part of the elementary and middle school curriculum. My school nurse and I are in agreement about that. But … it isn’t so it’s up to us parents to teach our kids. But what exactly does that mean? I found this food pyramid from the USDA’s food pyramid which was created 1992. Does it look familiar? If not, don’t worry because …
It was modified in 2005 to this pyramid:
Then, in 2011, the pyramid was completely done away with because it deemed to be too confusing and instead, this plate concept was adopted.
MyPlate is divided into sections of approximately 30 percent grains, 30 percent vegetables, 20 percent fruits and 20 percent protein, accompanied by a smaller circle representing dairy, such as a glass of low-fat/nonfat milk or a yogurt cup.
MyPlate is supplemented with additional recommendations, such as “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables,” “Switch to 1% or skim milk,” “Make at least half your grains whole,” and “Vary your protein food choices.” The guidelines also recommend portion control while still enjoying food, as well as reductions in sodium and sugar intakes.
So what is the goal?
- A colorful plate. Fruits and vegetables should make up half the plate. And the more colorful the fruits and veggies, the better (as a way to mix it up).
- Grains and protein make up the other half of the plate. Whole grains are best because they contain higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. These nutrients have been shown to play a key role in reducing the risk of disease.
- Try to switch to 1% or skim milk.
I found some fun online games to reinforce the idea of healthy food choices.
Dining Decision Game: It’s lunch time, you’re in the school cafeteria and you need to decide on a healthy meal! Click on the best food items to see if you make good decisions.
Quintricious: Little D (a dragon) wants to eat from all 5 food groups to stay healthy. He need to match food from the same food groups but they are falling to fast for him. Can you help him?
My Plate Match Game: Test your knowledge of the 5 food groups and how much you need from each group.
I also found these great free printables!
My Plate Dairy Learning Sheet
Dairy gets its own circle on the My Plate and Horizon Organics can help your kids in making healthy food choices and are easy to pack in lunch boxes for back to school.
Do your kids need to learn more about making healthy food choices? I know mine do!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.