MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are building blocks for a healthy diet. The image should be used as a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate, in your cup, or in your bowl.
MyPlate focuses on:
- Variety, amount, and nutrition
- Choosing food and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars
- Starting with small changes to build a healthier eating style
- Support for healthy eating for everyone
Variety, Amount, and Nutrition
MyPlate focuses on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups to get the nutrients you need. By building a healthier eating style, you can help avoid overweight and obesity and reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Choose Foods Low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Added Sugars
Use nutrition facts labels and ingredient lists found on food packages to find the saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars in the foods and beverages you choose. Look for food and drink choices that are lower in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar. By eating fewer calories from foods high in saturated fat and added sugars can help you manage your calories and prevent overweight and obesity. By eating foods with less sodium, it can reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
Make Small Changes to Create a Healthier Eating Style
Start with a few small changes to improve your eating style. A few examples of ways to make small changes include: make half of your plate fruits and vegetables while focusing on whole fruits and varying your vegetables, make half of your grains whole grains, move to low-fat and fat-free dairy, and choose a variety of protein.
Support Healthy Eating for Everyone
Create settings where healthy choices are available to your family and others.
Protein is a vital source of energy and a nutrient served as one of our main meal components here in Ross Local School's cafeterias. Protein is important for our immune function, to develop strong muscles, and transports vitamins and minerals throughout the body. Ross Local Schools offer age-appropriate servings daily to students.
Fruits and Vegetables:
It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to get all the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants and bioactive compounds that train the body to stay healthy by strengthening the immune system. Fruits and vegetables are also a great source of fiber. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A to support eye health, vitamin C to support immune function, and folic acid for brain health. Fruits and vegetables are offered daily and students are required by the USDA to take at least one with every school meal.
Grains are important for the brain and are the main source of energy for the body. It is important to consume grains, especially whole grains, for breakfast to energize your body after a long nights rest. Eating whole grains provide health benefits that include reducing blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Ross Local School's cafeterias offer whole grains with every meal.
Milk and dairy products are important to the body's bone health, especially during the school-aged years. Dairy provides excellent sources of calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. These vitamins and minerals help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and help lower blood pressure. Our cafeterias offer low-fat dairy options with every meal to ensure students are getting their daily recommendation of milk without all the extra calories of a full-fat milk. We offer at least two choices of milk with our school meals, unflavored and flavored milk. Unflavored milk may be non-fat or low-fat, while flavored milk must be non-fat. Did you know fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as a whole or 2% milk? After the manufacturers remove the fat from the skim and 1% milk, they put the calcium and vitamin D back into the milk. This process is called fortification. In the end, whole milk, 2%, 1%, and skim milk have the same amounts of calcium and vitamin D, the only thing that varies between kinds of milk is the calories and fat content.
For more information regarding MyPlate, such as daily recommendations for each food group, please visit ChooseMyPlate.Gov
Nutrition For Students
During school age years and throughout your life, your body needs nutritious foods to grow and stay healthy. You can take care of your body by eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise (60 minutes per day). Your body and brain need fuel to perform, learn, grow, and ward of illness and disease. Now is the time to develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. You can start by eating a varied, balanced diet from each of the 5 food groups every day (Grains, Fruit, Vegetables, Dairy, and Protein).
Test your knowledge and skills on nutrition and fitness by clicking on the link below:
MyPlate - Games
Nutrition For Parents:
Did you know 1 in 3 children are diagnosed with being overweight or obese? The prevalence of overweight kids has doubled in the past 20 years and has tripled for teens. Our district is taking action by participating in the National School Lunch program which follows strict national guidelines that provide nutritious meals to students. Meals offered in the cafeteria contain one-third of the recommended daily allowance of nutrients for school-aged children. Our district also abides by the USDA dietary guidelines for MyPlate. Our cafeterias offer a convenient method of providing a nutritionally balanced lunch at the lowest price possible. The cafeterias also enhance children's learning abilities by contributing not only to their nutritional status but also to their physical and mental well-being. Studies have shown that children whose nutritional needs are met have fewer attendance and disciplinary problems. In addition, these students are more focused and achieve better grades than those whose nutritional needs are not met.
What You Can Do As a Parent
As a parent, you can act as a role model for your children by encouraging them to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, encourage your child to get at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise each day. Family meals are also a great time for parents to connect with their children and act as healthy role models. Studies have shown that kids who regularly eat with their families are less likely to consume unhealthful foods. It is recommended to eat as many meals as you can together as a family. Since many families have busy schedules and some days are difficult to eat dinner together, we encourage trying to eat meals together at least three times a week.
There are ways at home to get your student involved in healthy eating:
- Let your child help you measure out ingredients while cooking
- Make healthy snacks with your children such as fruit smoothies or celery with peanut butter
- Praise your child when they make healthy choices
- Plant a garden with your children consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables. Watch it grow!