November 7, 2011

My Plate

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a Nutrition seminar.  And I would like to share with you what I have learned.  Do you know that the FOOD PYRAMID has been replaced by MY PLATE? It's a better guide to watch what we're eating since it's more realistic.  We eat on a plate and not on a pyramid.  Also, it has a better picture on how  we should exactly pack our lunches to school or work, or serve our meals at home.  And this made my Bento container perfectly align to the guidelines of MY PLATE.
Visit for more informations.
Here's how to balance our diets according to My Plate for the general population:

Balancing Calories:
  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase:
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains.
  • For adults, switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.  For growing children, my pediatrician recommends whole milk to benefit from the fats it offers.  They need fats to grow properly and to promote better brain and eye development.
Foods to Reduce:
  • Sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals.  Read the labels and choose the foods with lower numbers.  Pay attention to serving size/portion as well so you know exactly how much you should consume.  The numbers on the upper half, where calories, fats, sugars, sodium, carbohydrates, should be under 20%.  And  the numbers on the lower half, where all the vitamins and minerals are listed, should be above 20%.  Use spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to season your foods.  Try black or red pepper, basil, curry ginger or rosemary.  
  • Drink water instead of sugar-filled drinks.  Add mint leaves or lemon drops on water to flavor it in a healthy way.
For meat lovers, I hate to say this, but we would have to limit our intake per meal into just a palm-sized portion.  That is approximately 3 oz of meat per meal.  We have to eat in moderation.  We must think that anything more or less is potentially hazardous to our health.  The biggest portion in our plate should be vegetables.  Grains and meats should be closely equal in portion-sizes.  And, fruits would be slightly the smallest of them all.

My next step would be to apply to this to my school lunches, and adjust our daily menu at home.  It wouldn't be so much of a change for us.  I just need to make some adjustments on portion sizes.

I hope you would find this useful for your meal preparations at home.  Any more informations needed, please visit My Plate website.  They have more informations there for pregnant & breastfeeding mothers, preschoolers, kids, and those weight watchers. Good luck!!

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