Surprisingly Simple Tips to Utilize MyPlate

The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD to write this blog post.

The Egg Nutrition Center is proud to be a Strategic Partner of the ChooseMyPlate program. MyPlate is a tool created by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) to teach people how to make healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

A new program called Start Simple with MyPlate offers simple tips for utilizing MyPlate on a daily basis. MyPlate recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of the plate with protein and one quarter with grains. The Start Simple program also suggests varying your vegetables, choosing whole fruits, making at least half your grains whole grains, switching to fat-free or low-fat milk and drinking water instead of sugary drinks.

For healthcare professionals, the Start Simple with MyPlate Toolkit can help provide realistic and actionable ideas to motivate clients to eat healthier and improve overall health. This tool is easy to use and helpful in many healthcare settings. Here are a few ways you can help spread the message of Start Simple with MyPlate in your own practice and beyond.

Be active on social media

Take to your favorite social media platform to share the Start Simple program with your followers. The great thing about social media is that you can show your own personal experiences in real time. Create a plate following the Start Simple with MyPlate tips, snap a picture and share it with the hashtag #StartSimplewithMyPlate. Then challenge your social media followers to do the same.

Use the MyPlate Plan

This easy-to-use tool gives clients and patients a plan with a personalized calorie level and food group recommendations. Just follow the prompts and provide some basic information (sex, age, activity level) to get your tailored calorie range and sample meal plan. The recommendation tells you how much of each food group to eat throughout the day. And now there’s even a MyPlate App with additional habit tracking features and on-the-go access. 

Create a MyPlate challenge

Although community weight loss challenges are popular, they don’t always promote healthy habits. Instead, build a challenge among your patients or followers that encourages healthy behaviors, like filling half your plate with fruits and veggies or choosing water instead of sugary drinks. Whether you run the challenge for a week or a month, it’s bound to inspire some people to try the MyPlate techniques. Choose a prize for the winner, whether it’s a free nutrition counseling session, a gift card to buy groceries or a refillable water bottle.

Share recipes

Sometimes the easiest way to incite change is to share mouth-watering recipes that will entice your clients to cook something healthy. Whether you use social media, a blog or handouts, share recipes that utilize the tips in the Start Simple with MyPlate program.

Do you utilize MyPlate in your practice already? Send an email to ENC@eggnutritioncenter.org and share how!