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MyPlate: Nutrition Made Simple!  March 1st, 2012

Are you, like so many others, confused by all the recommendations out there on how to have a healthy diet? I understand how complicated nutrition information can be, which is why I was thrilled with the unveiling of a food guide symbol with a very simple message.

The Department of Agriculture recently replaced the iconic Food Guid Pyramid with an image of a place setting for a meal, called MyPlate. This self-explanatory visual encourages us to consider proportions when planning meals and to eat foods from each food group. It’s a simple reminder to think about what goes on our plates – and our cups and bowls! Interested in servings recommendations? Go to where you’ll also find other useful resources to aid you in creating your own plate.

One look at MyPlate and you’ll notice the emphasis placed on fruits and veggies, which is no surprise when you consider the great benefits attributed to eating them. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium. Their high fiber content can help to keep you full and assist in weight maintenance. Vegetables are also a great source of vitamin A, keeping your skin looking vibrant and helping to protect you from infections – something we are all concerned about this time of year!

Perhaps you find that getting enough fruit in your diet is easy enough, but vegetables can be an entirely different matter. Well, here are a few easy (and tasty!) ways to load up on this colorful stuff at many of the campus dining centers:

Arnold Bistro

*        Sandwiches at the Deli and Grill come with all the fresh veggies you want

*        Indulge your senses with flavor-packed veggie specials for .95 cents at Global Fare

*        If you haven’t tried the zesty seaweed salad at Nori Grill, you’re in for a treat

McNary Central

*        At Boardwalk Café it’s veggie central! Whether you choose the potato bar, the salad bar, or create your own stir fry special, there are plenty of opportunities to grab some delicious veggies

*        Pair your Calabaloo’s burger with the Signature Pacific City Salad (spring greens, dried cranberries and crisp apples) for $1.95

Marketplace West

*        Pick from a variety of specialty salads at Cooper’s Creek BBQ. Try out my personal favorite, the Grape & Goat Cheese Salad.

*        At the Ring of Fire, you can’t go wrong with a Vietnamese Pho bowl filled with all the best veggies

Bings Café

*        Pack a Bing’s classic calzini with vegetables like artichokes, spinach, and tomato and you’re bound to leave the café full and happy

With a large selection of vegetable options available on campus, “your plate” possibilities are endless! So BeWell and happy eating.

By April Strickland, Dietetic Intern, OSU