The US Department of Agriculture and Michelle Obama announced today a new plate image that will replace the familiar food pyramid. The new image is designed to more clearly represent how we should be eating by portioning a plate into fruits, vegetables, protein and grains. Dairy is included as a small circle that could represent a glass of milk or a cup or yogurt. Healthy eating advocates also stress that the choice of lean meats (or other proteins), whole grains, and low fat or non-fat dairy and portion control is important to a healthy and balanced diet. Ms. Obama also stressed the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to affordable healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.

I love this new image. It totally makes sense to me and I can visualize it as I fill my plate or my son’s plate.

What do you think? Will this help you make better food choices? Do you think it will help with this crazy obesity epidemic in America (and other developed countries) or is it a lost cause? What other tips do you have for us new mamas trying to build healthy eaters?



Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.

    I love the new pyramid. We have plates from Healthy Plates we use for the kids, and they work great. I’m not sure this is going to work unless people want it to work. You’ll still have those that wish to fill one side with carbs, and barely any veg:(

  2. 2.

    This is much easier for people to process than the old food pyramid, and easier to teach kids!

  3. 3.

    I think just the fact that the government has to make ‘recommendations’ for what we should eat shows how hopeless it is. Are people too dumb to see what is healthy and what isn’t? On my way to do food shopping I passed by McDonalds and the line for the drive through was 20 cars long – so yes, I think it is hopeless when so many people think that kind of food is even edible. I never adhered to the old pyramid because I’ve always known vegetables should be the biggest serving, not grains – only 15 years later after I came to the US they now finally change the recommendations. Yes, this is better, but common, are people so stupid they need the government to tell them what to eat?! That is ridiculous.

  4. 4.

    It’s not going to make a difference until people have access to healthy foods and a better understanding of what healthy foods are (for ex., many people still think french fries are a vegetable).

    A study from the university where I got my MPH looked at neighborhoods in our city and a surprising number of them did not have a grocery store. People in those areas had to buy groceries from convenience stores. That makes it extremely difficult to buy fruits and vegetables, since convenience stores don’t stock them. In addition, we learned how environment plays an important role in obesity as well. More and more schools are cutting out recess and PE, kids don’t always live in neighborhoods where it’s safe to play outside, or where there is even a place to do it, and many cities still aren’t set up to accommodate people on bikes or walking.

    Do these account for all of the issues contributing to poor health in the US? Of course not. Many people know and have access to good foods and choose not to follow through. However, before you are quick to label people as stupid, dumb, or hopeless, please consider the other factors that come into play that people have much less control over. Lets see what we as both a country and smaller communities can do to help remove those hurdles to good health.

  5. 5.

    LOVE IT! Much easier to understand for all!

  6. 6.

    I doubt it will curb the obesity epidemic, but I think it’s much easier to understand and more visually appealing.

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