ITHACA, N.Y.Moms who use MyPlate are more likely to involve children with food preparation, eat more vegetables and have a greater understanding of nutrition, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
MyPlate was created in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help American consumers put the Dietary Guidelines into practice. MyPlate is a simple, colorful icon illustrating healthy proportions of fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy within a single meal.
Researchers at Cornell University and Purdue University conducted a national online survey of 497 moms, ages 18 to 65 yearsincluding questions about their demographics, knowledge, attitudes and behaviorto determine how familiar these moms were with the program. Considered "nutritional gatekeepers," moms were of particular interest to the researchers.
Of the 497 moms, 46 moms were familiar with MyPlate (9%), 105 were somewhat familiar (21%) and 349 were not familiar (70%). Moms were more likely to be familiar with MyPlate if they already knew about MyPyramida different nutrition chart used before the introduction of MyPlate.
In addition, moms who found MyPlate easy to understand and relevant to their lives were more likely to see its potential to help their families eat better. In fact, moms who adopted MyPlate were more likely to be vegetable lovers" and to involve their kids in preparing family meals. Moms loved veggies for a variety of reasonsnot only because of their nutritional quality, but also because they can improve the taste of the entrees and make meals feel like special family occasions.
In 2013, MyPlate made new additions to its "10 Tips Nutrition Education Series," including new tips for staying physically active and tips specific for college students.