My Plate Food List

usda myplate logoWhy MyPlate Replaces the Original Food Pyramids

Most of us have seen and used the food pyramid at some point in our lives. We know that it represents food groups that make for a healthy diet. It’s purpose was intended to show what foods should be added to your diet and that each group is important in your daily meals. Critics of the food pyramid explain that it could be confusing. In response to these criticisms MyPyramid was introduced. This image offered the same idea as the original food pyramid, but included graphical elements for exercise, while trying to show the food groups as equals. Many found this to be even more confusing.

The New USDA Standard – MyPlate

In response to these new criticisms and to help everyone understand how a balanced meal should look, MyPlate was introduced. The development of MyPlate is based off the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and includes four sections with a fifth off to the top-right side. These sections include fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. The MyPlate idea also includes tips for staying healthy and how to incorporate these food items into your everyday meals. The addition of daily exercise is also a large part of the MyPlate program.

MyPlate is more than just a new way to look at the food pyramid. It offers Americans a healthier way to approach meals and overall health. MyPlate teaches how to balance calories. It’s ok to enjoy food, but eat less and avoid oversized portions. Some important tips that MyPlate offers include making half your plate fruits and vegetables. Making at least half your daily grains – whole grains. Stay clear from whole milk and instead replace with fat-free of low-fat milk. Always go with foods lower in sodium when choosing items like bread, frozen meals, and soups. Drinking water is important. Many of us choose soda or other sugary drinks when the healthier choice is water. In fact health professionals will tell you, most adults should consume at least 8 glasses of water per day.

What is the “10 Tips Nutrition Education Series”

MyPlate offers the “10 Tips Nutrition Education Series”. The series is broken down into easy to follow and understand categories. Each offering ten tips to incorporate these ideas into your healthy lifestyle. These categories are an ongoing process and are updated as necessary. Listed below are a few of the categories in the series.

• Choose MyPlate
• Add more vegetables to your day
• Focus on fruits
• Smart shopping for veggies and fruits
• Liven up your meal with vegetables and fruits
• Kid-friendly veggies and fruits
• Cut back on your kid’s sweet treats, salt and sodium
• Eat seafood twice a week

Eating the proper amount of calories

The right amount of calories is different depending on the person. Most people who have success with weight management keep track of their daily calorie intake and know the proper amount of calories for their bodies. This doesn’t mean you need to count every calorie you consume, but instead keep track of what you are eating and always attempt to make the right choice when choosing your foods. Some tools to help you include, finding your Body Mass Index BMI. This will help determine if you are considered overweight by basic standards. Do research and learn about topics like Metabolism and what foods are considered good and which are not.

Exercise and MyPlate

Just as important as eating healthy is being active and getting proper exercise. Choose activities that are fun and enjoyable for you and your family. Do things together like ride bikes, swim, go for a hike. The foods you eat will have a direct affect on your activity level. By choosing to follow the USDA MyPlate, you will be consuming the proper foods to keep your body at peak levels for physical performance. Being a role model and teaching our kids to eat healthy and include exercise at an early age is important. Helping children take on these healthy habits will ensure their future and ensure these healthy traits are carried on to future generations.

By visiting you can explore all the “10 Tips Nutrition Education Series” and find all the information needed to incorporate the MyPlate ideas into your everyday meals.

These foods are some examples of items that are considered healthy and part of a balanced diet. This list gives you an idea where to start when considering to abide by the USDA MyPlate. There are many other food items that are healthy that may not be on this list. Use this list as a healthy food reference when you decide to follow MyPlate.

MyPlate Food List


  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Watermelon


  • Broccoli
  • Collard Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Turnip Greens
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Green Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini
  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Pinto Beans
  • Soy Beans
  • Split Peas
  • White Beans


  • Fat-free or Low-fat Milk
  • Fat-free Puddings
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Low -fat Ice Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese


  • Beef
  • Ham
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Turkey
  • Chicken / Duck Eggs
  • Black Beans
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Navy Beans
  • Soy Beans
  • Split Peas
  • White Beans
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts

Fish & Seafoods

  • Catfish
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Snapper
  • Swordfish
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Clams
  • Crab
  • Crayfish
  • Lobster
  • Octopus
  • Oysters
  • Scallops
  • Squid
  • Shrimp

Whole Grains

  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Rolled Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Triticale
  • Whole Grain Barley
  • Whole Grain Cornmeal
  • Whole Rye
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Whole Wheat Crackers
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Whole Wheat Rolls
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Wild Rice

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