Advice: What To Feed Your Family (And Yourself)


Saying that the USDA Food Pyramid is too complicated for busy families, Michelle Obama unveiled a more streamlined approach to healthy eating at a press conference in June 2011. “Parents don’t have time to measure out three ounces of chicken or 1/2 cup of rice,” she said. Instead, the new “My Plate” icon is divided up by food group, with veggies getting the most room followed by grains, protein, fruits, and dairy.

Parents nutrition advisor Elisa Zied, R.D., a mom of two, gives the new approach a B-Plus. “It’s definitely easier to understand,” she said. “But it’s ambitious to get kids to eat all five groups at one meal. You might fit in three or four.” Her solution: Fill in the missing group at snack time. What do you think of the new icon? Take our poll—and post any questions you have and our nutrition advisors will answer them for you.

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  1. by Nikki

    On June 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Someone should market a child’s plate that looks like that. That would be super easy to follow! Maybe even with little seperated areas to fill up. Cafeteria’s at schools could utilize them, parent’s would utilize them. Wish I knew someone who invented things!

  2. by Brittni

    On June 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I totally agree with Nikki. If someone would market a plate like that for schools and households, it would definitely be utilized! They have plates like that doe adults, why not children sizes??

  3. by Shana Segat

    On June 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I like it. I’m sure people will find a way to complain about it, but it does seem easier. Right now I have a semi-picky 3 year old so fitting in all of those groups is like trying to ice skate up hill. Soon, though. I’ve got a great veggie & fruit eater, just not all in one meal.

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  4. by Loonwatcher

    On June 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    it’s already being done — do you really think this was done purely to your benefit? Someone is going to make money off of this. That’s the only reason it changed. No one was confused by the pyramid. It told you exactly how much of what to eat in a day.

  5. by brandy

    On June 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    I use the “cup cake tray” method with my two year old and it works great. Having the items separated in the tin muffin tray keeps him interested and easier to keep track of what types you’re giving him.

  6. by MamaA

    On June 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

    This is pretty much how I feed my kids. I have little lunch trays with four sections got at the red store. It has never been any trouble for me to get my kids to eat the food groups in one meal. Veggies are the hardest for us. I make them eat as many baby carrots as their age – 4 for the 4 yo, 6 for the 6 yo. 6 yo doesn’t want white milk. I give her chocolate. I’ve tricked her though by reducing the amount of Ovaltine by 3/4. She will eat yogurt though. They have a cup and get their own water. It’s not rocket science, but I do like the graphic. Actually would like a plate like this with adult portions. I don’t do nearly so well on my plate. Maybe cause I don’t eat off a tray. The tray does naturally lend itself to variety.