Everything you eat or drink matters. Each meal and snack contributes toward your unique eating pattern. Including all the food groups throughout the day is one way to make your eating pattern healthier.
Consider making fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods part of your daily meals and snacks. Get started with the Start Simple with MyPlate Tip Sheet, and use the MyPlate Plan and tips below to help you meet your daily nutrition needs.
1. Make half your plate veggies and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients that support good health. Choose a rainbow of fruits and vegetables – like red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow bananas, green broccoli, blue blueberries, purple eggplant, white onions, and brown mushrooms.
2. Include whole grains
Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the words “100% whole grain” on the label. Whole grains provide more nutrients than refined grains.
3. Add lean protein
Choose protein foods such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, or soy products. Twice a week, make seafood (like salmon or mackerel) the protein on your plate.
4. Don’t forget the dairy
Choosing a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk gives you the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk but fewer calories. Don’t drink milk? Try soymilk or another calcium-fortified beverage instead.