USDA Nutrition Messages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has replaced the Food Pyramid with a plate, MyPlate, that shows the types and quantities of food we should be eating to have a healthy diet. In its most simple terms, MyPlate gives the following advice:

Balancing Calories.

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium on food labels, in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals and choose foods with the lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks logo
Fruits Grains
Protein Vegetables

Eat Well Play Hard

Eat Well Play Hard (EWPH) is a key childhood obesity prevention initiative of the New York State Department of Health.

Childhood obesity is a major public health problem in New York State (NYS). According to the NYS Strategic Plan for Overweight and Obesity Prevention, recent data indicate that the prevalence of obesity among children and teenagers in the U.S. has tripled in the past 20 to 30 years. Nearly one-third of preschool-age children in New York State, aged 2 up to 5 years, are considered obese or overweight. In New York City alone, about one in four elementary school children (grades K-5) are obese. These prevalence rates greatly exceed the prevalence reported for the U.S. (15.8%).

Eat Well Play Hard was developed to help prevent childhood obesity and reduce long-term risks for chronic disease through the promotion of targeted dietary practices and increased physical activity. Poor nutrition and inadequate physical activity combined are the second most preventable actual cause of death in the USA. Being active builds healthy muscles, strengthens bones and helps maintain a healthy weight. It also reduces the risk of diabetes, heart attack and high blood pressure.

Eat Well Play Hard Core Strategies

  1. Increase developmentally appropriate physical activity.
  2. Decrease exposure to television and other recreational screen time.
  3. Increase consumption of vegetables and fruits.
  4. Increase consumption of low-fat or fat-free milk, for children over age 2.
  5. Increase the initiation and duration of exclusive breastfeeding.

How Can I Get Involved?

Resource Web Sites: