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USDA swaps Food Pyramid for My Plate icon

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Add a plate to your meal planning

Today, another pyramid takes its place in history – the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Pyramid. The USDA today unveiled a new image -- an icon -- to help educate people about dietary guidelines and healthy eating.

Source: LaTimes.com

What's on My Plate?

The icon, called "My Plate," is colorful, easy to understand and provides a simplistic representation of the food groups and portions recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. My Plate is divided into four sections, red for fruits, green for vegetables, orange for grains and purple for protein, and represents what a healthy meal should look like. The dairy section is blue and is its own side serving.

What should I eat?

Look at the icon for a quick answer. Based on the colors and portion sizes of My Plate, vegetables and fruits should make up half of a healthy meal, then grains, followed protein. The dairy portion is smallest serving size.

The look of this tool has changed, but so has its purpose. Designed to educate people, officials hope My Plate will also help change American eating habits. Not sure how much fruit should be included in a healthy meal? Check out the plate. Ready to pack your child's lunch? Peek at the plate to help you figure out what to include.

Visit the USDA for information about My Plate and food guidelines, but look for more interactive features to debut in the fall, including daily food plans for kids and new moms, a food tracker and a food planner, information on calories and food groups and more.

Incorporate some of the following dishes into a healthy meal:

Fruit & Vegetables

Whole Grains

Proteins

Dairy

Learn more about dietary guidelines for Americans.

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