Unless you have been living under a rock you are well aware that MyPlate has replaced the Food Pyramid. On June 2, 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack introduced this updated and user-friendly graphic in an attempt to help individuals make healthier food selections. With only five categories, MyPlate is colorful, straightforward, and simplistic in its messaging: Eat fruits, grains, veggies, protein, and dairy. Seems easy enough, yet the message has taken quite some time to trickle down to the schools and to the students.
In an effort to make MyPlate an integral part of a student’s life, Fort Bend ISD in Texas, has been doing some very creative marketing. This effort has come from many different avenues in the schools including health services, physical education, health education, and child nutrition. At Glover Elementary School, each grade level was given a different section of MyPlate:
- First grade – Fruits
- Second grade – Vegetables
- Third grade – Protein
- Fourth grade – Grains
- Fifth grade – Dairy
Once assigned, they were asked to decorate their hallway and doors with their section of MyPlate. Then students took tours through the school learning more about the different sections of MyPlate and what different food items fall into the different sections.
At Sugar Mill Elementary, the wellness committee teamed up to actually integrate MyPlates into the school day. Students eating in the cafeteria were given a MyPlate instead of a food tray when purchasing school lunch and got to eat their lunch off of it. Sugar Mill Elementary also had a big MyPlate poster that students got to sign when they were “caught” eating healthy.
Lastly, at Jan Schiff Elementary, the kids were in for a treat when Spiderman showed up in his MyPlate apron! In addition, the PE teacher assembled a superhero-studded MyPlate bulletin board. There are so many creative ways to get the messaging across!
Just remember that even though you and I are well aware of what MyPlate is there are still some folks out there (more than three years later) thinking that the FoodPyramid is current. Head to ChooseMyPlate.org for free resources and ideas!
Today we feature Guest Blogger Stephanie Kellam, who is the Coordinator of Health and PE at Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) in Texas. She promotes fitness and nutrition-related wellness initiatives throughout FBISD by partnering with community organizations and school nurses, teachers, and administration to help educate children and their parents about the importance of developing lifelong healthy habits.