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The Dietary Guidelines


Tips to a Great Plate

Quick Family Mealtime Menus

Focus on Fruit

Vary your Vegetables

Make half of your Grains Whole

Go Lean with Protein

Get Your Calcium Rich Foods

Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) assesses the health status of the American population. Based on their findings and scientific research they create and distribute new recommendations meant to help people make food and lifestyle choices that will lead to healthier lives.  These recommendations are called the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietary Guidelines are selected messages to consumers developed by top nutrition and health experts in the country. The last revision was in 2015. 

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans address the following important topics related to health:

          Having an overall healthy eating pattern throughout your life
Enjoying a variety of nutrient dense foods
Choosing healthy foods and beverages
Limiting added sugars, saturated fats, and reduce sodium
Creating a healthy environment at home, school, work, and in the community.

Foods to Increase: 

Whole Grains
Healthy Oils

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Make at least half your grains whole grains.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce:

Added Sugars
Saturated and trans fats

My Plate

My Plate is a food guidance system that was developed by the USDA and DHHS to provide an easy way to follow the Dietary Guidelines. My Plate was designed to replace the food pyramid that many of us had become accustomed to. My Plate is a clearer depiction of how to create a meal and a plate that follows the dietary guidelines. 

The food groups that make up the plate work together to provide the nutrient balance that our body needs. The plate contains five food groups-vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. Click on the links below to find out more information on each of the food groups in My Plate. 

Focus on Fruits    Vary your Vegetables    Make half of your grains whole    Go lean with protein    Get your calcium rich foods    

For additional information, check out our Food $ense at Home online lessons (lesson 4) or visit for tips on how to make small changes for a healthier lifestyle. Use the resources on this website to create an individualized daily food plan and track the nutrition information of foods you eat. They are great tools to help you live your healthiest life.