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It’s National Nutrition Month - Get your Plate in Shape!

Hospital news | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy National Nutrition Month from Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital! This year’s theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape.” Romi Pattison, Registered Dietitian from PDCMH, explains the plate theme. She says, “In 2011, the USDA’s MyPlate replaced the food guide pyramid as the visual to guide Americans in eating a balanced diet. Instead of using overall servings per day, which can be vague and hard to put into practice, MyPlate shows how to incorporate the dietary guidelines into every meal. My Plate is a 9 inch dinner plate divided into four sections for fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, as well as a glass on the side representing dairy products. It is a great visual tool for helping us to be mindful of what foods we should be eating and how much should be on our plate.”

Some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to get your plate in shape include:

  • Avoid oversize portions by using smaller plates, bowls, and glasses. Switching to a 9 or 8 inch plate will help you automatically portion and eat less without feeling deprived.
  • Get into the kitchen and stay in charge of what you’re eating. Cooking more at home not only allows you to balance what’s on your plate, but also enables you to choose healthier fats, less sodium, and balance the amount of calories you eat.
  • Watch out for liquid calories; the calories in juices and drinks with added sugar, sodas, and sports drink add up fast.

Along with following My Plate, the USDA recommends:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables and eat a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole.
  • Switch to fat free or low fat milk.
  • Vary your protein choices by choosing seafood, beans, nuts, and tofu as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs.
  • Cut back on sodium and empty calories from fats and added sugars.

Romi Pattison adds, “My Plate makes it easier for us to eat a balanced diet by helping us eat the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and dairy every day. The entire healthcare team at Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital encourages you to ‘Get your Plate in Shape’ and make healthy choices during National Nutrition Month and throughout the entire year!”