My Plate encourages healthy choices

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One way to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet is to make it colorful. Leafy greens, red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow peppers, blueberries.

That’s the advice of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which last summer unveiled a new icon to help consumers make better food choices.

Take a look.

My Plate is a visual reminder that a healthy plate should consist of about half vegetables and grains, and half fruits and protein. My Plate replaces the Food Pyramid of old, and First Lady Michelle Obama is one of its biggest supporters.

Her Let’s Move initiative promotes healthy eating and encourages physical activity in the fight against childhood obesity. The My Plate icon is featured prominently on the Let’s Move website as well as many other dietetic and nutrition websites.

Visit www.letsmove.gov and choosemyplate.gov for healthy recipes, nutrition tips, dietary guidelines and more.

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Here are some ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

- Make a breakfast smoothie with low-fat milk, a banana and frozen strawberries.

- Grill a shish kebab with chicken, tomatoes, onions, green and red peppers and mushrooms.

- Add a bit of fruit to your morning oatmeal or cereal.

- For dips, try pairing pita wedges with hummus, apple slices with low-fat yogurt, graham crackers with applesauce, and baked tortillas with salsa.

- Add grated, chopped or shredded veggies (spinach, zucchini) to a meat loaf or pasta sauce.

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