It’s important to eat a variety of foods to stay healthy. You need to eat from all five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy!
MyPlate is a visual reminder to eat foods from all five food groups–that way you can make sure you are feeding your body with what you need to have energy, play hard, learn, grow, and stay healthy.
Let’s take a closer look at these food groups.
• Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts
• Fresh, canned, froze, or dried
• Whole, cut up, or pureed
• Used by the body to build muscle, skin, bone, and more
• Gives you energy
• Ex. Seafood, poultry, meat, eggs, beans, peas, seeds, nuts
• Remember to vary your proteins!
• 5 subgroups:
• Dark green
• Red and orange
• Beans and peas
• There’s a wide variety of vegetables that have different colors, flavors, and nutrients.
• Includes all fluid dairy products (ex. milk) and other dairy products that retain their calcium content (ex. yogurt and cheese), as well as calcium-fortified soy milk
• Foods made from dairy products that have little to no calcium such as cream cheese and butter are not part of the dairy group
• Anything made from cereal crops (ex. wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, and barley)
• Whole vs refined grains
• Whole grains use all three parts of the grain: endosperm, bran, and germ
• Ex. 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, whole wheat tortillas, whole grain cereal
• Refined grains are sent through a mill to remove the bran and germ. This removes important nutrients needed for good health.
• Ex. White bread, regular pasta, white rice, puffed rice cereal, pretzels, crackers, and cookies
• Try to make half of your grains whole grains and limit refined grains
Not every meal will have all five food groups, so you can balance your diet out in your snacks or even dessert. Eating from all five food groups can lead to some fun experimenting with foods, especially when we use my plate as a guide! Plan to be physically active for 60 minutes a day and make a goal to eat healthy using MyPlate. View video for more details about using MyPlate as your guide.