In September, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin honored National Hispanic Heritage Month by joining with key Hispanic leaders to celebrate the federal government's new Spanish-language food icon, MiPlato.
MiPlato is a new generation icon that prompts consumers to think about their food choices before they eat, to build a healthy plate at meal time, and to seek more information by going to ChooseMyPlate.gov. MyPlate and MiPlato emphasize the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy and are supported by consumer messages including 'Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables.'
MiPlato will complement the MyPlate image as the government's primary food group symbol, an easy- to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The image is accompanied by a range of supporting educational materials also published in Spanish and should be very useful in K-12 and other segments where multilingual nutrition education is important.
Together, the materials point consumers to ChooseMyPlate.gov, and to its Spanish version, which provide practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information.
Later this year, USDA will unveil an exciting "go-to" online tool that consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical activity choices.
"USDA's new MyPlate food icon is a simple reminder to help Americans think about their food choices in order to lead healthier lifestyles and today we are proud to introduce its Spanish-language partner, MiPlato, to help Hispanic consumers at mealtime," said Vilsack. "Regardless of our primary language, it is important that we all learn about and embrace healthy eating habits because a healthy nation starts with healthy people."
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, launched in January of this year, form the basis of the federal government's nutrition education programs, federal nutrition assistance programs, and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals. The Guidelines messages include:
- Balance Calories
- Enjoy your food, but eat less. Avoid oversized portions.
- Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Foods to Reduce
Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
As part of this new initiative, USDA wants to see how consumers are putting MyPlate in to action by encouraging consumers to take a photo of their plates and share on Twitter with the hash-tag #MyPlate. USDA also wants to see where and when consumers think about healthy eating. Take the Plate and snap