How to Feed Your Kids: Plate vs. Pyramid

Surprisingly, lots of people still inquire about the food pyramid. Despite the fact that the USDA stopped utilizing this tool in 2011, many people still use it as a nutrition guide when deciding what to feed their children.
By 
Christine Randazzo Kirschner
MS, RDN, CDN

How to Feed Your Kids: Plate vs. Pyramid

Surprisingly, lots of people still inquire about the food pyramid. Despite the fact that the USDA stopped utilizing this tool in 2011, many people still use it as a nutrition guide when deciding what to feed their children.

🍽 So we thought we'd introduce you all to MyPlate - the new and (in our opinions) improved version of the food pyramid.

✨ At Amenta, we use MyPlate as a practical, easier-to-understand/use tool to teach our patients how to create well-balanced, nutritious, complete meals! ✨

📣 So what is MyPlate and how do you use it?

MyPlate is divided into 5 food groups:
Fruits: focus on whole fruits 🍇🍉🍊🍋
Grains: Make half your grains WHOLE grains 🍞🥖
Vegetables: focus on a variety of veggies🥑🥕🥦🌶
Protein: vary options (seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products)🥜🥩🦞🐟
Dairy: low-fat or fat-free (hint: doesn't just have to be milk-yogurt, cheese, and dairy-substitutes are great options too!)🥛🧀

The idea is to look at your own plate and compare it to the food group recommendations that are on MyPlate to make sure you are including everything you should for a healthy, complete meal.

🔑 The key to using MyPlate is to make sure you:

✔ Include each food group in each meal (which could mean cheese as a garnish on your salad or yogurt at breakfast-- not necessarily a glass of milk!)
✔ Eat a variety of fruits + vegetables to ensure you are receiving all the vital vitamins + minerals (pro tip: think of "eating the rainbow" 🌈 - the more color variation, the more likely you are getting all of your nutrients)
✔ Have whole grains often, ~70% of the time (farro, bulgur, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, etc.)
✔ Mix up your protein! (see above)
✔ Use healthy fats as a garnish: 1/4 avocado on toast, feta cheese on salad, a handful of nuts + fruit as a snack, etc.
*of note: fat is NOT mentioned on MyPlate, but it's an essential nutrient that should be eaten in moderation.

✨ 👦🏾 👧🏻 👶🏼 We know how much you love your children. You're doing a great job + the fact that you even ask about a nutrition guide is telling- keep up the good work! 👦🏾 👧🏻 👶🏼✨

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