Intro to MyPlate

Making food choices for a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, but the USDA has created a simple graphic to help students and families be healthy every day. The MyPlate graphic helps to visualize how to include the five food groups to every meal. Based off the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the USDA has created these simple key messages to support healthy eating:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
    • Focus on whole fruits and vary your veggies
  • Make half your grains whole grains
  • Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt
  • Vary your protein sources
  • Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars

MyPlate shows the proportions of each food group to put on your plate during meals.

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Our bodies need nutritious foods and plenty of water to stay healthy and energetic. Making half the plate fruits and vegetables is a simple way to make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients each day. Make this easier for your family by encouraging them to try a variety of fruits and vegetables whether it is for breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner at home or eating out. For more information about MyPlate, fruits, and vegetables, be sure to visit: www.choosemyplate.gov.

Physical Activity

Being physically active is one of the most important steps that Americans of all ages can take to improve their health. Physical activity simply means moving the body thereby using energy. We consume energy in the form of calories that are in food. The more active you are the more calories you burn.

Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits. Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial. People of all ages can benefit from physical activity and the more physically active you are, the greater the health benefits.

Movement throughout the day can reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers (breast and colon), Type 2 Diabetes, osteoporosis and depression.  Physical activity strengthens your heart muscle, improves blood flow and your mood, while helping you maintain a healthy weight.  Over time, regular movement lowers your risk for early death and enables you to engage in the activities necessary for daily living.  Keep in mind that some physical activity is better than none at all!

Staying active in all seasons is important! Maine offers some excellent activities. These might include:
Winter– skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, shoveling
Spring– hiking, walking, running, bicycling
Summer– walking, bicycling, swimming, gardening
Fall– hiking, walking, raking leaves

There are many programs that promote physical activity, such as Maine WinterKids or the YMCA! Check out your local programs for more information.

Everyone should aim to be physically active for 60 minutes a day. Whether they are walking, biking, tossing a ball, or playing tag, every little bit counts. Our bodies were meant to move!

For more information on physical activity go to: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans at https://health.gov/paguidelines/