MY PLATE: Answers and Advice

by Brooke on June 14, 2011

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Last week, I wrote about how MY PLATE Could Make You FAT!  Thanks to everyone that guessed!!!  I had so much fun reading your guesses :)

Drum Roll please…the answers are:

PLATE 1:  The problem with this plate was that there were two different sources of dairy, not that either one of them was wrong.  Also, a serving of whole wheat bread is 1-2 slices depending on the person, not 3 slices.

PLATE 2:   Fries are not a vegetable.  Wait…let me say it again…FRIES ARE NOT A VEGETABLE!  Corn, peas, and potatoes act more like bread, pasta, or rice in the body and are known as the “starchy vegetables” because of that.  A serving of ice cream is only 1/2 cup not 1 cup.  It is also important to note that ice cream doesn’t have the same amount of calcium per one cup that a low-fat yogurt or milk does, not to mention the added sugar.

PLATE 3:  This one was kinda a trick question.  Both mistakes were made with the chicken.  The chicken was 1) fried and 2) 6 ounces.  A healthier option would have been a 3-4 ounces grilled chicken breast.

PLATE 4:  I am not a juice hater, but I do prefer to eat my calories instead of drinking them.  However, 4 ounces is an actual serving of juice not 16 ounces.  Although the cereal is high in fiber, it is to large of a serving.  A serving size of cooked or dry cereal is only 1 cup.

PLATE 5:  A serving of dried fruit is 1/4 cup, not a 1/2 cup.  A serving of 1% or skim milk is 8 ounces; however, I am sure there are many that drink milk in tumblers.

I believe that using a plate model is a nice way to help Americans figure out how to plan their meals.  However, this model is a little vague and will require a lot of education.

Questions I have gotten so far:

1)  What meal is this for?  Well, vegetables can be eaten at any time of the day…even breakfast.  Most healthy breakfasts consist of this combination: 1/3 grains, 1/3 fruit, and 1/3 protein.  For example, this could be one cup of cereal, one cup of  skim milk, and one small apple or a three egg white, mushroom, onion, and pepper scramble, one slice of toast, and 4 oz. of orange juice. Lunch and dinner looks more like:  1/2 your plate vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 grains.  I would use the fruit or milk for lunch and dinner more as a healthy dessert  or the milk could be used in place of the protein on the plate.  But both contain carbohydrates (our simple source of energy) and don’t need to be consumed altogether with grains.

2)  What size plate should I use?  Use a small plate to help control your portion sizes.  Try using a 4-6″ dinner plate at all meals or 1 cup bowl if needed.

3)  Could I choose either fruit or vegetables to fill half my plate?  The goal is to get in 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.  However, that does not mean that they can be all fruits.  It is recommended to consume 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-5 servings of vegetables in a day equally that total range of 5-7 servings.   If you are trying to lose weight or watch your waistline choose mostly vegetables!  In fact, I really wish fruits would’ve been left off the My Plate or put off to the side with the dairy!  You don’t need to consume fruits at lunch and dinner, but you do need to consume vegetables! 

Do you have any questions or comments about how to use this model?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kristen @ Swanky Dietitain June 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I think I got them all right! That was a great idea to see the plate in action.
I think it’s important to point out, that we still need to keep an eye on portions, where foods belong, etc. when using the guideline.


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