• Pamela Martinez

Interactive MyPlate Tool for Personalized Nutrition Experiences

USDA’s MyPlate is used to help learners think about their own diet and eat well. Our department has created a new interactive tool, MyPlateMyDay, to help learners in New

Mexico and Puerto Rico plan their days with MyPlate using foods from their own cultures.


Left hand side has an image of the outline of New Mexico, it reads: New Mexico. The right hand side has an image of the out line of Puerto RicoText, it reads: Puerto Rico. Top left corner reads: Available Regions bottom text reads: teaching guide.
Unique regions available

USDA’s MyPlate offers an extensive array of resources for users to plan their meals and menus. However, users can struggle with choices when their normal everyday foods are unique to their culture or region within the United States. The online interactive offers regionally-specific foods, and is available in English and Spanish and was created for three distinct audiences: youth, adults, and adults 60 and over.


left side of image shows the five food groups and serving sizes for each as well as warnings for salts and fats. center image shows four plates for four meals, breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner. Each plate has various foods for on it representing each food group.
Select foods in Puerto Rico region

We worked with two teams to create the product: (ICAN) Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition, led by Director Donna Sauter and her team and the Abriendo Caminos project let by Dr. Maria LaPlaza at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus. The group of licensed dietitians, nutrition educators, and media creators set out to develop an affordable, adaptable tool that would enable culturally relevant interactions with the MyPlate menu.

center photo shows a plate with a glass on its right and a fork on its left. the plate and glass are divided in sections for the sections for the five food groups. Bottom text reads: MyPlate MyDay.
MyPlate MyDay Logo

Users of My PlateMyDay may choose regionally popular cuisine, including combinations like burritos or mutton stew. They can also learn how to split combination foods – such as posole or Indian tacos – into the MyPlate categories. The group created a basic list of meals that includes regionally specific foods, trying out several combinations of customizable options. Testing the project with educators, extension audiences and ICAN ensured the product was easy to use and enjoyable. The website includes support resources to help educators lead discussion with groups about the project and integrate it into existing programs.


To start using MyPlateMyDay visit: MyPlateMyDay.org


Written by: Pamela Martinez, Assistant Professor & Extension Learning Technology Specialist