Do you have a favorite go-to meal? If so, does this meal include all the MyPlate food groups? An even better question might first be, what are the five MyPlate food groups?
The five MyPlate Food Groups are the following:
- Whole Grains: When looking to fill the grain portion on your meal, you want to aim for at least half of your grains to be whole. This allows you to explore different whole grain options, while still enjoying more processed grains. Great examples of whole grains are rolled oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta!
- Fruits: Fruit is what some refer to as nature’s candy. Due to its natural sugar, fructose, fruit is a great way to curb a sweet tooth! When selecting fruit, it’s important to try and shop whatever is in the season to get the most bang for your buck. If you are going with a canned fruit option, look for options that are in 100 percent fruit juice. If this option is not available, you can simply strain and rinse the fruit before consuming it to get the added sugary syrup off.
- Vegetables: Vary your veggies; different colors mean different nutrients. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated. Based on their nutrient content, vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups: dark greens; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.
- Lean Protein: Vary your protein routine. All foods made from seafood; meat, poultry, and egg; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts, seeds, and soy products are part of the protein food group. Although all of these items are part of the protein food group, they are not all created equally. For example, chicken breast has 31 grams of protein per 100 grams, whereas black beans have 6 grams of protein per 100 grams.
- Fat-Free or Reduced-Fat Dairy: The dairy group includes milk, yogurt, cheese, lactose-free and fortified soy milk, and yogurt. It does not include foods made from milk that have little calcium and a high-fat content, such as cream cheese, sour cream, and butter.
For more information, go to www.dietaryguidelines.gov, or contact, Katherine Pinto, EFNEP and SNAP-Ed agent, firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-232-1930.