Yesterday First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help all of us make healthier food choices. In response, Learning ZoneXpress, Inc. immediately designed USDA MyPlate products using the new icon which inspire consumers to build a healthy plate at mealtime. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grain, protein and dairy food groups.
Melanie Nelson, former FACS (Family and Consumer Science) teacher and owner of Learning ZoneXpress, Inc. , a company that develops educational products to teach nutrition and healthy living says, “The new plate icon is a powerful image for young people. Our 1 Great Plate TM series has been popular for a year, and Learning ZoneXpress, Inc will have the new USDA MyPlate icon available in products by the end of the day, Friday June 3, 2011.”
MyPlate replaces the Food Pyramid or MyPyramid that the USDA had been using for two decades. American parents, teachers, childcare and healthcare providers have used these images to teach kids and students about nutrition and how to use these tools to make healthy eating choices. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the USDA in January of this year form the basis of the federal government’s nutrition and education programs, federal assistance programs and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals.
The Guidelines messages include: Balance Calories, Foods to Increase and Foods to Reduce. The recommendations are:
1) Physical activity of 30 minutes per day for all ages, 60 minutes per day for children and teens and 60-90 minutes for those who want to lose weight.
2) Choose nutrient rich foods: vegetables, fruits and whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds.
3) Limit the intake of: sodium, solid fats, added sugars and refined grains.
These recommended guidelines are intended as an integrated set of advice to achieve an overall healthy eating pattern. The new food icon is meant to be a simple and easy reminder for families, children and nutrition professionals. Expected use will be in classrooms, lunchrooms, healthcare facilities, child care centers, home and anywhere children might learn about nutrition, healthy eating and other smart life skills need to become healthy adults.
For more information visit the new MyPlate web site sponsored and maintained by the USDA (Untied State Department of Agriculture) www.ChooseMyPlate.gov or the Learning ZoneXpress web site. www.learningzonexpress.com
About the Author
Melanie Nelson has been creating educational products for close to thirty years. She creates products to help teachers, school foodservice professionals, and work healthy professionals educate students, groups, employees and individuals on healthy living.