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.
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.
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.
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