My Plate for Kids

Today we are talking food inspired by Tyson.   They are asking parents how they ensure their kids have a healthy diet {and running a super cute photo contest: Get A Smile Give a Smile that you don’t want to miss}.

Recently the Dietary Guidelines for Americans underwent a make-over.

The food pyramid was replaced with MyPlate.   If you are old like me, you might see some similarities between MyPlate and the pre-pyramid Four Food Groups.

My Plate and KidsMy oldest son came home from 5th grade a few weeks ago with an assignment to research MyPlate and create a food journal for 3 days.   I was surprised how his food choices changed immediately.   A little knowledge and accountability go a long way…even in an 11 year old.

I thought it would be a good idea to get the whole family involved and do something simple that my younger boys could understand as well.

My Plate Activity

The MyPlate website has tons of resources.   One of them is a series of images in all formats ready for print.   I chose one I liked and printed, cut out the plate and cup graphic and laminated them both.

myplate for kids activityWe used glass dessert plates and taped the laminated plate graphic under the plate and a glass cup for the dairy graphic.   My glass plates are from the dollar store or clear plastic plates could easily be used as well.

Not only did the table look really pretty and colorful, the plates are a visual reminder of food choices at meal time.

My Plate Lesson Plan

Using our fancy MyPlate plates at meal time has sparked some really interesting conversations.   It is a springboard for so many different math, cooking, health and choice conversations.   Here are a few ideas where this simple MyPlate activity could lead:

  • Math:   This could start as simply as talking about four parts equaling a whole and progress to an in depth discussion of proportional equations.   Using food, sneaking in some new concepts is really easy. Having your child use the MyPlate graphic template to make their own graphic in a size that would be portion-appropriate could be a fun activity as well.
  • Cooking:   There are many resources on the website, but one I really liked was the Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits printable and the kid-friendly recipes that won the Let’s Move contest sponsored by the White House.   Spending a day or two choosing and making these simple healthy meals and talking about why might spark your tiny chef to get creative too.
  • Health:   Kids have heard preaching about eating healthy since birth, but adding some specifics can help them figure out WHY.   A good starting place is the 10 Tips to a Great Plate printable.   A trip to the library might be a good second step to explore an area of health that interests your child.
  • Choice:   Oh my.   This is a big one.   It is really at the root of parenting…preparing our kids to make their own choices.   Once they have the groundwork for why to choose this amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy, then maybe allowing them to plan a meal with those guidelines could be an adventure.   What about creating a simple template with the MyPlate formula for their lunchbox {I think I have found a good next step post}?

myplate creative

Thanks to Tyson's 100% All Natural Chicken Nuggets, now you don't have to choose between making your kids happy and feeding them balanced meals.

How do you ensure your child maintains a balanced diet?

Join the conversation and Tyson will select a winner and donate $500 in the winner’s name to a local food bank!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Nuggets. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.