The USDA’s first dietary guidelines were published in 1894 by Dr. Wilbur Olin Atwater as a farmers’ bulletin. Many other governments my plate poster pdf organizations have created nutrition guides.
Some, like the United Kingdom’s Eatwell Plate, the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, and the American Diabetes Association’s Create Your Plate system, also use plate diagrams. Make at least half your grains whole”, and “Vary your protein food choices”.
The guidelines also recommend portion control while still enjoying food, as well as reductions in sodium and sugar intakes. But we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates. And as long as they’re eating proper portions, as long as half of their meal is fruits and vegetables alongside their lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, then we’re good. It’s as simple as that.
The 50-percent emphasis on fruits and vegetables, as well as the simplicity and understandability of the plate image, were particularly praised. The dairy section was criticized by some as similarly dispensable. An additional critique was that the icon is too simple, missing opportunities for additional dietary advice, such as distinctions between healthy and unhealthy proteins or guidance on good fats and bad fats.
Harvard’s plate features a higher ratio of vegetables to fruits, adds healthy oils to the recommendation, and balances healthy protein and whole grains as equal quarters of the plate, along with recommending water and suggesting sparing dairy consumption. The Harvard plate also contains a recommendation for physical activity.