Gina Ruskie-Askew, RDN
Start Simple with MyPlate
Every year, March is recognized as National Nutrition Month sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Although the campaign is just for one month, it is a great reminder of how we all can develop and maintain healthful eating habits throughout the year. We have selected some tips to help you consume a variety of options from recommended food groups, aligning to the latest 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Make Half your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
Focusing on vegetables, did you know that about 90% of Americans do not consume the recommended daily amount of vegetables, which is about 2.5 cups per day for the average adult1? The good news is all formats and types count, whether fresh, canned, frozen or dried/dehydrated! Vegetables in each of the different sub-groups provide different sources of essential nutrients, such as potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A and Vitamin C, so it is best to switch it up daily. These subgroups include dark green; red and orange; beans, peas and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.
Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains
Most Americans consume enough total grains, but unfortunately 98% fall below the recommendations for whole grains and 74% exceed limits for refined grains1. Rest assured even if you follow a gluten-free diet, there is no reason to avoid grains completely as plenty of whole grains are gluten-free, including quinoa, amaranth, wild rice, sorghum, teff, millet, corn and buckwheat. If looking to learn more about additional grains, Oldways Whole Grain Council is a great resource to check out!
For more personalized resources to include each of the food groups in your diet, visit USDA’s MyPlate.
Unilever is proud to be a USDA National Strategic Partner.
1. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov
2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov Website. Washington, DC. Accessed February 16, 2021.