Thursday, February 14, 2013

MyPlate: What's on Your Plate?

By Nikki Bolduc
I am currently completing a 5-week rotation at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), which is an organization within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  MyPlate is an icon that was created by CNPP in 2011 to help promote messages based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  

I have been immersed in a variety of exciting projects at CNPP, all of which have been centered on promoting the health messages of MyPlate.  Not until I started my rotation at CNPP did I really take a good look into the website and all it has to offer. There are a variety of tools and resources available for dietitians to utilize. 

Below are a couple of my favorite tools/resources that dietitians can take advantage of:
  • SuperTracker SuperTracker is a tool that can be used by anyone, including dietitians.  It is a free resource that helps you track your daily caloric intake and physical activity.  Users learn how many calories they should consume daily, what nutrients they consumed during past meals, tips to meet their individual goals and specific details about their food behaviors via printable reports.
  • MyPlate 10 Tips Educational Series:  CNPP has developed several one-page PDF’s that provide  10 tips on topic such as adding more vegetables into your diet, building a healthy meal, smart shopping for fruits and veggies, and much more!
  • MyPlate Food Groups Overview:  Dietitians can direct their clients to the MyPlate food groups section of the website for a comprehensive review of each food group on the MyPlate image.  Clients will learn which foods are considered healthy options within each group, the appropriate portion size, health benefits as well as tips to increase their consumption of these foods. 
MyPlate is not a typical diet plan, in which case I mean that it is not a “fad diet.” is committed to providing long-term health guidance for people to successfully incorporate healthy eating into their lifestyle.  As a dietetic intern, it is great to know that such advice is so accessible.  I encourage you to check out all it has to offer.  

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