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From USDA MyPlate springs Harvard Healthy Eating Plate

The power of a good idea is that it spreads and is spurs more good ideas. We’ve seen that with the USDA MyPlate. First we saw it with the USDA Partners, who have been creating products and opportunities based on the healthy infographic.

More recently we have seen it with Harvard University’s take on their own MyPlate design – called Healthy Eating Plate. According to a Good Morning America report…

Harvard unveiled its modified version of the USDA plate, called the Healthy Eating Plate. Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard, says it addresses the shortcomings of MyPlate.

"The main thing is that MyPlate isn't specific enough to really give enough guidance," Willett said.

There are some things that we like about the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate:

  • It includes oils and physical activity — two elements from MyPyramid that are missing from MyPlate
  • It specifies “whole grains” rather than just grains. People can do better than just making half their grains whole... Aim high, right?!
  • French fries don’t count towards a healthy diet.
  • Water does count.
  • It spells out the “bad” protein choices — bacon and processed meats — and what are healthy protein choices.

Here are some things we like about the UDSA MyPlate:

  • The simplicity speaks to children and helps busy parents.
  • It is a stepping stone for customization at the Harvard plate demonstrates
  • Milk makes more sense for kids than coffee or tea
  • Potatoes are a great addition to a diet of varied vegetables. They are high in potassium — which is great for our hearts!

The plates as nutritional lessons have been discussion in The Huffington Post, The Daily Dose in Boston, the Fooducate Blog and dozens of other local and national resources.

What we love about both is that they are shining a light on nutrition and healthy eating. They're getting parents, kids, teachers and healthcare providers to talk about the importance of healthy eating.

That’s a nutrition lesson we can all carry forward!

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