For years, Americans have turned to the food pyramid as a tool to learn about the different food groups and serving sizes. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has created a simplified icon called MyPlate to help guide individuals on how to put together a balanced meal.
Rather than demonstrating a whole day’s worth of food, MyPlate represents a single meal and includes fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Children may be quick to point out that it lacks a segment accounting for salty or sugary snack foods, a subset that previously sat atop the food pyramid.
“The new icon is simple and easy to understand, with more emphasis placed on fruits and vegetables,” said U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin. “This new tool can be a fun way to help individuals and families make healthier meal choices.”
The icon looks like a plate, half of it containing fruits and vegetables while the other half is occupied by a portion of grains that is slightly larger than the protein section. There is a circle that resembles a glass, which is marked “dairy.”