Jul 07, 2011 • By

What’s MyPlate all about?

Have you seen the new MyPlate food icon?

It’s a fresh take on the familiar food pyramid nutrition guide in the U.S. to promote making healthy choices every time you eat.

The General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition recently partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) to help educate Americans and health professionals about MyPlate. That partnership led to a recent webinar.

The collaboration between General Mills, the USDA and the ADA combines trusted expertise and nutrition resources to make federal dietary guidance meaningful and achievable for consumers.

Launched by the USDA on June 2, MyPlate replaces the MyPyramid icon. As you can see in the image, MyPlate emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups and how they should fit proportionally into your meals – on your plate.

MyPlate is in line with many nutrition guides from other countries. The United Kingdom has the “Eatwell Plate,” and Australia also has a plate theme in its “Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.”

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, launched this year, form the basis of the U.S. Government’s nutrition education programs, federal nutrition assistance programs, and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals.

The guidelines messages include:

-Enjoy your food, but eat less.

-Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

-Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.

-Make at least half your grains whole grains.

-Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Here at General Mills, we believe that the dietary guidelines are very important, and since the last guidelines were issued in 2005, we’ve taken steps to reformulate our products to help consumers meet these guidelines. In fact, more than 60 percent of our U.S. retail sales are comprised of products that have been nutritionally improved since 2005. Improvements have included adding whole grains, fiber and calcium, and reducing calories, sugar, sodium and trans fats.

With products like cereals made with whole grain, Green Giant vegetables, Yoplait yogurt, Fiber One cereals and bars, and Cascadian Farm frozen fruit and vegetables, our products are well positioned to help people meet the new dietary guidelines.

We know that consumers are focused on health, and we continue to focus on growing our business by delivering healthy products that taste great.

If you’d like more information about MyPlate, go to ChooseMyPlate.gov.