Trying to get more fruits, veggies and other healthy foods into your family's diet? MyPlate is here to help!
It shows the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. These tips make it easier to eat healthy, balanced MyPlate-friendly meals that kids will love.
1. Keep plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand.
Put them in places your family will see (like the front of the refrigerator) and have them washed, cut up, and ready to eat.
2. Turn MyPlate into a coloring game.
Print out the colorful MyPlate graphic on a sheet of paper or print the coloring sheet and let kids color it in themselves. Laminate the paper and use it as a placemat for younger kids.
3. Let kids learn by allowing them to serve themselves.
Display foods family-style, then let kids serve their plates following the example on their MyPlate placemat.
4. Help kids learn about portion size.
Teach them to take small amounts at first, but tell them they can get more if they're still hungry.
5. Start your day with breakfast.
Be sure to include a fruit or a vegetable so you can reach the "half your plate" goal over the course of the day. Make yogurt parfaits the night before or sautee spinach or root veggies to add to scrambled eggs.
6. Split meals.
When eating out, split larger meals with a family member or friend. Or, take half of your dish home with you.
7. Get kids involved in the kitchen.
Kids like to try foods they help make. If you have younger kids, name their dish ("Karla's Kickin Salad") and make a big deal about displaying foods they helped create.
8. Save leftovers.
Leftovers can turn into a future lunch or dinner if you refrigerate or freeze them within two hours after cooking. Wrap up the leftovers BEFORE you start eating so you don't overeat.
9. Talk to older kids and teens about how the foods they like can fit onto MyPlate.
Have them look at a fast food menu and ask them how they could order in line with MyPlate. A burger with fries and a soda can become a burger with a side salad and a carton of skim milk.
10. Make your calories count.
Drink water, or add soda water to a small amount of 100% juice when you're thirsty to cut back on sugar and calories. Try our refreshing Raspberry Lime Fizz.