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
ChooseMyPlate.gov logo
Fruits Grains
Protein Vegetables
Dairy

Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY)

The Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Program (JSY) encourages persons who receive food stamps to eat more fruits and vegetables by offering nutrition workshops, cooking demonstrations and other educational activities at food pantries, shelters, farmers' markets, and other community settings.

As an obesity prevention initiative, JSY provides low income families with practical, cost effective tips for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables among New York State residents is a key strategy for reducing the risk of several chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

There are two JSY initiatives currently working to improve the health and nutritional status of low-income families in NYS. They are:

  1. Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables, which is a collaboration between New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Led by three regional team leaders, a network of 10 nutritionists deliver comprehensive nutrition education activities across NYS, focusing their efforts in the following environments: food pantries, shelters, community agencies, WIC and Summer Food Program sites.
  2. The Stellar Farmers' Market Program, which is a collaboration between NYS DOH and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYSDOHMH). This initiative promotes the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets in targeted low income communities. Each workshop provides practical nutrition information using USDA approved lesson plans and recipes, and cooking demonstrations using local, farm fresh seasonal produce. During the 2009-2010 farmers' market season, Stellar Farmers' Markets will expand to sixteen markets located throughout New York City.

These two initiatives reach nearly 16,000 food stamp eligible clients and their families annually.

Web Resources

For more information, including links to delicious fruit and vegetable recipes visit the Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY) website!

For more exciting information on the Stellar Farmers' Markets Program, including a schedule of the workshops, visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - Physical Activity and Nutrition website!

Related Programs