MyPlate: The New Nutrition Guidelines

Do you remember the old nutrition guidelines from 2005?

Or maybe you remember these guidelines from 1992?

These guidelines served a great purpose in guiding America’s eating choices. But, consumers were often left confused. Why were fats, oils, and sweets at the TOP of the 1992 food pyramid—isn’t the top where most important things go? And what about the 2005 pyramid? Did it really help consumers know what to eat? What is a serving anyway?

In order to combat puzzlement and encourage better eating habits, on June 2, 2011, the USDA released the new icon for optimal nutrition. Readers, let me introduce you to MyPlate.












The simplicity of this icon should better help consumers understand how to eat healthier at the dinner table. The main focus of MyPlate is to encourage filling half the plate with fruits and vegetables, making half your grains whole grains, choosing lean protein sources, and selecting low-fat dairy products. Consumers are encouraged to balance calories by avoiding big portions, as well as enjoying food while eating less. Other big messages include choosing products that have lower sodium content and drinking water instead of sugary drinks.

Check back soon and I’ll share my thoughts about the new icon and its message.

With a plate icon, rather than a pyramid, consumers should better know how to set up their plate when they sit down for a meal. What are your thoughts about the MyPlate icon? Do you think it’s more helpful for you when making food choices?

You can find out more information about MyPlate at Also, take part in the MyPlate fun! USDA is encouraging YOU to take a photo of your plate and share it on twitter. Be sure to include “#MyPlate” in your tweet.


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