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The New Food Plate and Family Nutrition

Exercise Your Options

Exercise and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand for better health. The MyPlate program relies on the physical activity recommendations in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG). PAG suggests at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily for kids, and a minimum of 30 minutes a day for adults on most days of the week.

Get more activity by making it a point to walk, run, or bike ride together on a regular basis, taking vacations that involve lots of physical activity, and doing yard work as a family. 

Shopping Tips for MyPlate

Meals cooked at home are typically healthier, and nearly always less expensive than take-out or restaurant fare. Keep in mind that you can’t make nutritious meals and snacks for your family without beginning with healthy ingredients. Use these tips to keep your kitchen stocked.

  • Buy nutrient-rich foods, such as fat-free and low-fat (1%) milk and yogurt, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein, like 95% lean ground beef, skinless chicken, pork tenderloin, and legumes. Nutrient-rich foods tend to offer the most nutrition for the least calories. 
  • Keep convenient lower-fat protein foods on hand, such as canned light tuna and salmon, eggs, and canned, reduced-sodium beans, such as black beans for quick meals.
  • When purchasing convenience items, focus on fresh and lightly processed foods. Examples include pre-cut fruits and vegetables; frozen fruits and vegetables without added sodium; dried fruit; and fruits canned in water or 100% juice. 
  • Slash your family's sodium intake by choosing lower-sodium versions of packaged foods with the terms “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” and “no salt added.”
  • Buy an array of brightly colored fruits and vegetables for a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients, the plant compounds that promote good health. 
  • Opt for 100% whole grain breads, cereals, rice, pasta, and crackers at meals and snacks.  If you’re feeing adventurous, serve your family whole grains such as farro, wild rice, and quinoa. 
  • Purchase popcorn for snacks instead of chips or pretzels. Popcorn is a whole grain.



WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on June 27, 2013

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