In case you didn’t know, today is a special day: Happy 1st Birthday, ChooseMyPlate.Gov!
While I haven’t personally been utilizing this great resource, a cursory look at the website today has impressed me. With a clean, user-friendly interface for the Internet surfer, you can learn about all of your basic food groups: Fruit, veggies, grains, and protein foods, as well as oils and dairy. They give you an idea on how much should be in your plate of each, how to measure them, and the health benefits of each, among other helpful tips. The site also has some great tabs with other related information regarding physical activity (how to be more active, and why), weight management tips/tools and resources (BMI calculator, calorie burning charts to help you keep focused, etc), healthy eating tips, and a helpful little chart regarding empty calorie foods. Empty calories are foods high in energy-providing calories from solid fats and/or added sugars, but contain little to no nutritional value. I even saved this chart to my computer, myself.
While the website itself is great for navigating your nutrition choices, the USDA has certainly established its presence on all manner of social media, as well. Want to get more interactive with your plate? Take a photo of your ChooseMyPlate inspired meal, and post it in their Flickr Pool (this actually excites me a little, where is my camera??). Want nutrition and food-related news from the government and legislative side? Like the USDA’s page on Facebook. Want tips and healthy eating reminders and resources? Head on over to their Twitter page.
And then there’s the USDA on YouTube, with sundry videos on everything from new food safety cell phone apps to new endeavors taken on by the USDA to help consumers eat, and shop, healthier.
Talk about a cornucopia of information for the nutritionally ambitious. So head on over to wish ChooseMyPlate a happy birthday, and while you’re at it, see what they have to offer. You might learn a thing or two you didn’t know that you didn’t know about your dinner plate.
Eat well, everyone!