USDA's Nutrition Guideline: "MyPlate"
My Plate is the new concept that the American Dietetic Association has brought out to explain how we want to break down some of our food choices and ultimately, redistribute healthy eating throughout the course of the day.
We have fruits and vegetables filling up half of the plate then grains and protein filling up the other half of the plate.
Notice here, that there is really no area here for, what we would refer to as, our desserts or our sometimes foods. We can still include those but what they would really like us to do is focus more on using our fruit as the source of our sweet.
We want parents to incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy along with their kids. The best way for kids to learn is for parents to model by example.
What is the correct portion size for my family?
One of our focuses with the plate model is to also bring people back into portion control. As a rule, I try and say a half cup is usually your serving size for the majority of things you are consuming.
We are so used to feeding ourselves large amounts of food and then, ultimately, going long periods of time. If we adjust to feeding it smaller amounts of food more frequently, you find that you are as satisfied but overall throughout the course of the day you're consuming fewer calories.
How can I get my children to eat healthy foods?
Make it creative, you're going to have to think a little bit outside the box. Bring your kids into the grocery store, let's walk through and find some fun foods to get. Oh, look at these red peppers or look at how funny this little squash looks. I wonder what it tastes like on the inside.
If you can get a kiddo in the kitchen, have them help prepare the fruit salad or have them help prepare the toast for breakfast or things like that. They are going to be a whole lot more willing to eat those healthful things.
Life happens and ultimately you have to get those foods in, but what I do encourage families to do is if you're going to order a pizza, instead of ordering two pizzas for a family of five, order one pizza for the family of five and serve salad and a fruit with it. You can have some of these things. Make responsible choices.