Starting a healthier diet is hard, but maintaining it can be harder. Land-grant universities make it easier by providing their regions with the education and resources in order to succeed.
Through the USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), the University of California Cooperative Extension is able to help low income youth and families with young children to acquire knowledge skills, attitudes, and changed behavior necessary to improve their diet quality, increase their physical activity, understand proper food safety practices, and more. After surveying the program’s participants, University of California found that 96% of them have reported positive changes in their food choices, including fruit, vegetables, grains, and lean protein foods. Participants of the program also found that they’re saving more money – nearly $40 each month – by choosing healthier food.
How have they developed such a balanced diet? University of California has teamed up with EFNEP to develop a diagram called My Healthy Plate. The diagram below shows you a plate divided and labeled with portion sizes for different food categories. By following these guidelines before a meal, you can ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need without getting hungry.
Understand the diagram, but not sure what to fill it with? Ag is America has put together a grocery list with 50+ healthy options to fill your plate with. There’s so many great fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains to choose from– you’ll never get bored!
We recommend printing and downloading these resources for easy reference in the kitchen or at the grocery store. Click here to download My Healthy Plate, click here to download the grocery list, and head over to University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources to learn more about the great work they’re doing.