Start Simple with MyPlate
Start Simple with MyPlate and get tips, ideas and a personalized plan to meet your food group targets. Find what works for you and your family within your food preferences, health goals, and budget.
Get started with tips from the MyPlate Food Groups. Or, jump down to Start Simple with MyPlate resources.
Fruits - Focus on whole fruits:
Include fruit at breakfast! Top whole grain cereal with your favorite fruit, add berries to pancakes, or mix dried fruit into hot oatmeal.
Try a new fruit for a snack. Fruits vary in vitamins and minerals so mix it up!
Add your favorite fresh or canned fruit to a salad or enjoy as a side.
Vegetables - Vary your veggies:
Cook a variety of colorful veggies. Make extra vegetables and save some for later. Use them for a stew, soup, or a pasta dish.
Make each meal colorful by adding red, dark-green, yellow, or orange vegetables to your plate.
Use dark leafy greens, like romaine lettuce and spinach, to make salads. Add red and orange veggies for extra color and nutrition!
Grains - Make half your grains whole grains:
Add brown rice to your stir-fry dishes! Combine your favorite veggies and protein foods for a nutritious meal!
Use whole grain bread when making a sandwich. If you choose refined grain bread, make sure it's enriched by checking the ingredient list.
Pack a whole grain snack for work, or when you’re on the go. Whole grain cereal or crackers and plain popcorn are great choices!
Protein Foods - Vary your protein routine:
Next taco night, try adding a new protein, like shrimp, beans, chicken, or beef.
Make colorful kabobs with your favorite protein foods and veggies! Enjoy the kabobs grilled or roasted.
Serve seafood twice a week - it's simple! Make patties with canned salmon, crab, or tuna, or use them on a seafood sandwich.
Dairy - Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt:
Enjoy a low-fat yogurt parfait for breakfast. Top with fruit and nuts to get in two more food groups.
Be a role model! Parents and caregivers who drink milk and eat dairy foods show kids that it is important for their health.
Leave room for some milk in your morning caffeine routine. Make or order your coffee, latte, or cappucino with low-fat milk.
Limits - Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fats and added sugars:
Tips for Salt and Sodium:
Taste your food before you reach for the salt shaker. Spices and herbs are a great way to add extra flavor.
Cook at home! Preparing your own food helps you decide the amount of salt used in meals.
Tips for Saturated Fats:
Trim visible fat from meat before cooking, or remove the skin from poultry to reduce saturated fat.
Try a bean chili or roll up a tortilla with hummus and veggies for a low saturated fat meal.
Tips for Added Sugars:
Help kids learn about added sugars in foods. Read the ingredients and Nutrition Facts label and compare different foods together.
Fruits can help you satisfy your sweet cravings. Make it fun with a fruit kabobs using bananas, apples, pears and orange sections.
Ready to get started? Find your personal food group targets with the MyPlate Plan! Just enter your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. You can even see your physical activity recommendations!
After you've found your MyPlate Plan, use the resources in the Action Guide to put your plan into action and reach your goals!
MyPlate Plan Menu template
Record the food groups you eat and drink during the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and your snacks with the MyPlate Plan Menu template.
Start Simple with MyPlate Tip Sheet
Print this handout with tips from the five MyPlate food groups that you can easily incorporate into your busy life.
Join us in our MyPlate Challenge! Post your MyPlate inspired healthy eating tips with a photo or video and share it on your social media accounts.
The Start Simple with MyPlate Toolkit for Professionals provides promotion ideas, graphics, a tip library, and social media for communicating the campaign effectively and efficiently.