Use the Food Pyramid to Guide Healthy Eating Choices

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) provides the new food pyramid as a guide to assist all of us in making the best healthy eating choices. By understanding this guide, it will become easier to make healthier eating choices for shopping, snacking and meal planning for overall health and fitness by knowing which categories of foods to include, how much of each we need and items we should not be eating especially overeating them.

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The food pyramid is a healthy food guide that can show and teach you how moderation is key to eating a healthy diet and these guidelines will help you.

    Things You'll Need:


    Desire to eat healthy

    Copy of USDA food pyramid

Use food pyramid to guide healthy eating choices

** The new food pyramid shows that the daily diet should include 6-11 servings of bread and grains. By adding two servings of whole grains per meal/day, the recommended servings of grains can be obtained.

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Be sure to read the label of ingredients listed on the back of each package for the most accurate information.

** Fruits and vegetables should be 5-9 servings per day according to the new food pyramid guide. At least two servings of fruit or vegetables should be added to each meal per day to adequately cover the recommendation from the USDA. Another way to fill this quota could be to add one serving of each per meal per day and have three snacks in between meals that include fruit or vegetables.

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Check out the seasonal produce area of your local market or grocery store and find some new fruit or vegetable you've never tried before – you never know, it could be your new favorite item!

** The USDA recommends 4-6 servings per day of dairy and proteins with the new Food Pyramid. The reach this goal, simply add a dairy product to each meal per day. Suggested items include milk, cheese, yogurt.

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The other 3 servings per day should come from lean proteins like chicken, lean beef, pork, legumes, soy, tofu or beans.

** Limit the amount of fats per day to follow the new Food Pyramid correctly and maintain optimal health. Fats are necessary for our bodies to function optimally and they help to soften the skin and keep our joints lubricated but it's the choices we make that make the biggest difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. When choosing fats to include in the diet, use vegetable oils instead of butter or margarine.

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** Follow the website to personalize your own pryamid based on sex, age and current weight. This is a helpful tool that will assist you in making the correct determinations for your body shape and size for meal planning while getting the recommendations from the USDA and obtaining optimal health. If what you want to eat is included in this list, it's a healthy food choice to consider. This tool also provides suggested foods per category as well as cooking ideas.

Try this new food guide and determine for yourself if you can follow the recommendations for healthier eating and snacking to get into the best shape possible – do it this year!


 Tips & Warnings

  • Follow medical recommendations for any health issues or concerns

  • Moderation is key in making food selections

  • Make a copy of the new food pyramid to keep handy while shopping and for healthy meal planning

  • Include everyone in the family to participate in using the food pyramid guide and to make it easier for meal planning and getting healthy

  • Stay up to date with new changes to the Food Pyramid Guide as the USDA is constantly studying health and nutrition to help us all live our best through our dietary choices
  • All new habits take at least 30 days of continued use before they become routine, so stick with using this food pyramid guide for a month and you should have a better understanding of it and get healthy!