Manzano Day School

Joy in Learning® Since 1938

Nurse's Notes: My Plate

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the basis of Federal nutrition policy and educational activities. The Dietary Guidelines are issued and updated every 5 years by the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS). They provide authoritative advice for Americans 2 years old and older about the amount of calories Americans consume, making healthy food choices, and being physically active to attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of chronic disease, and promoting overall health. In January 2011 the USDA released their new guidelines.

You might be asking yourself what is a "healthy diet?As in the past, the USDA Dietary Guidelines describe a healthy diet as one that:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products
  • Encourages lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Includes a diet low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

The new Dietary Guidelines uses the MyPlate as an illustration to demonstrate proper portion sizes to help us:

  • Make smart choices from all food groups
  • Find a balance between food and physical activity
  • Get the most nutrition value out of our food choices
  • Stay within recommended daily caloric needs

Within the next few weeks we will be discussing in detail the Dietary Guidelines. For more information visit