When we were kids the food chart was pretty simple with just four food groups — dairy, meat and poultry, bread and fruits and vegetables. Bear in mind that our vegetables came out of a can, our bread was of the “Wonder” variety, chicken was not only shaked but baked and our milk could not have been more chocolately. Yes, our mother was Jamie Oliver’s worst nightmare.
The chart has evolved over time to a slightly confusing calorie-counting wheel then a serving size driven portion-driven pyramid. The 2005 MyPyramid design seemed vague and confusing.
Now thanks to the First Lady and the USDA there’s a brand new guide called MyPlate. Graphically it couldn’t be easier to understand. As Mrs. Obama said, “What’s more useful than a plate? What’s more simple than a plate.” The new graphic shows you how to lay it all out — emphasizing more vegetables than fruits, prioritizing space for grains over protein and having some dairy on the side.
The USDA’s tips are pretty straightforward, too. They suggest balancing calories, switching to fat-free or low fat milk and choosing low sodium foods. We’ll do our best but we have to admit that we’ll always consider Cocoa Puffs a food group.