MyPlate Coloring Page

Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate the release of the brand-new MyPlate Coloring Book, I want to share a page from that book with you, for free!

You see, coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Emerging studies indicate that coloring could help reduce stress in adults as well as children. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

Of course, I couldn’t leave things there. As soon as I learned about the possible health benefits of coloring, I began to brainstorm ways to sneak a few lessons about wellness and healthy eating patterns into my coloring pages. Before I knew it, the MyPlate Coloring Book was born. With patterns intricate enough to be fun to color, and an added dash of simple and memorable health lessons on each page, this book is sure to be fun for all ages!

And now, without further ado, here is the free page from the MyPlate coloring book! How will you use your copy?

MyPlate Coloring Page

Remember, there’s always more in the Nutrition Education Store! Check out these fantastic MyPlate resources…

My Plate Coloring Book

MyPlate PowerPoint and Handout Set

My Plate Banner and Stand

Activity Idea: Making MyPlate Plates

MyPlate is an excellent tool to encourage balanced eating.

For visual learners, having an image of MyPlate is a great starting point on the road to healthful eating habits. You can take this image even farther in an interactive project. Not only will this project help cement the basics of MyPlate in the minds of your visual learners, but it will also draw in your kinetic learners as well. Almost everyone can benefit from learning by doing!

So, what’s the project? Making a physical MyPlate plate.

There are a bunch of ways to approach this, but I want to point you toward a few of my favorite styles…

Color a Paper PlateApproach #1: Color a Paper Plate

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Display an image of MyPlate and walk your clients through the basics of how and why the plate is divided. After that, you can distribute paper plates to each of your participants and let them create their own MyPlate plates with crayons or markers. They can draw their designs right on the plate!

Be sure to choose crayons or markers that are safe for kids — these won’t have harmful chemicals that could be dangerous to ingest. Not that a lot of anything would transfer from the plate to the food placed on it, but it’s best to play it safe.

If you’re distributing food as part of the activity, have people use their plates to portion out what they eat. They may want to make several MyPlate plates so that they can use the guide a few times. After all, paper plates don’t last past one meal.

Materials needed: A MyPlate image example, paper plates, and markers or crayons

Use the Plates Again and AgainApproach #2: Create Melamine Plates

To help your clients make MyPlate plates that they can use again and again, create melamine plates. These plates are embedded with the images that people draw, and they’re reusable. In fact, they can be treated just like regular plates — without fear of flaking, fading, or general destruction.

To create these plates, you’ll need a Make-A-Plate Kit with specialized markers. Hand out the plate papers from the kit to your clients after your discussion of MyPlate, and then let them use the markers to create their own MyPlate images.

This is a relatively inexpensive project that produces long-lasting results.

There is one thing to be aware of, however, and that is production delays. It often takes 2-3 weeks to return the MyPlate drawings as physical plates, so be sure to plan for this holdup.

Materials needed: A MyPlate image example, melamine plate kits, melamine plate markers, materials for shipping the plates

Approach #3: Paint Potted Plates

For more immediate results and a long-lasting plate, there’s always painting pottery. Yes, this is a generally more expensive and involved approach than the other two, but it also often produces beautiful results. You can turn the project into a festive outing or party, and it makes a great end-of-session finale.

Hanging a MyPlate poster or enlarged drawing in the studio can help inspire your participants as they work. It also offers a great example to guide their painting.

Materials needed: MyPlate image example, a pottery studio, potted plates, paints and brushes

Try Word ArtDetails: Creating the Plates

Now that we’ve discussed a few general ways for your clients to make their own MyPlate plates, let’s get into the specifics of plate creation.

Make sure that there is an image of MyPlate available for your participants to look at as they create their plates. After all, the goal is to have an accurate guide to balanced eating available for their reference. A MyPlate with the wrong proportions on it is not helpful.

Now, when it comes to drawing the plate within the guidelines set forth by the USDA, there is plenty of room for innovation.

Yes, clients could copy the MyPlate image exactly “as is” from the USDA website, but they could also innovate when it comes to decorating the plates. For example, some participants could use pictures to highlight what goes in each section, drawing images of their favorite foods from each food group. Or each section of MyPlate could become a word cloud (as pictured here). This word cloud can also feature the foods that fit into each food group.

The possibilities are endless!

Examples, Giveaways, Prizes, Shortcuts, or Take-Home Ideas for Clients

Of course, if you’re looking for examples, giveaways, prizes, shortcuts, or take-home ideas for clients, then you need look no further than the Nutrition Education Store. At the store, you can purchase…

These are wonderful examples that people can pass around while they create their own MyPlate plates. The plates also make perfect prizes for giveaways and can be distributed as take-home ideas for clients. Plus, if you don’t have the time, budget, or resources to have participants make their own plates, these plates offer a fantastic shortcut.

So. There you have it. A bunch of ideas for a great MyPlate project. Enjoy!

By Judy Doherty, PC II and Founder of Food and Health Communications, Inc

There’s always more in the store. Check out these fantastic MyPlate resources!

MyPlate Poster

MyPlate Wristbands

MyPlate PowerPoint Presentation

MyPlate Handout for Kids

MyPlate Apron

Help Kids Eat More Vegetables

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “9 in 10 children didn’t eat enough vegetables in 2007-2010.”

Salad Kit for KidsThat is one sad statistic.

After all, eating a wide variety of vegetables is critical to good health. Take MyPlate’s advice, for example. “People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.” Plus, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans counsel people to “Increase vegetable and fruit intake” and “Eat a variety of vegetables.”

Getting enough vegetables is especially important for children. The CDC asserts “Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and can prevent health problems such as obesity, dental caries, iron deficiency, and osteoporosis.”

It’s time to turn things around and help kids get the vegetables they need.

Shopping Kit for KidsThat’s why we’ve recently added two new interactive resources to the Nutrition Education Store. These felt shopping and salad kits offer new ways for kids to engage with fruits and vegetables, encouraging healthful habits and a balanced diet.  Plus, research indicates that kids who play a role in choosing the healthful ingredients for a meal are more likely to eat it. Getting familiar with salad is one way to help increase fruit and vegetable intake among children. Shopping for food together is another.

But that’s not all! Today we’re offering a sneak peek into ways to help kids eat more vegetables. Check out the handouts below — you can get a free leader guide for fruit and vegetable activities for kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade, and then follow up with a free activity page for kids at the same age level. Check out the previews below, and if you like what you see, get your own salad or shopping kits today!

Salad Activity Ideas:

Activity #1 — Salad Taste Test: Fill a bowl with lettuce leaves and pass it around. Have each child taste a piece of lettuce and describe it. Repeat the taste test with other salad ingredients, then use the felt to show ways the ingredients can be combined into yummy salads. If you have the time and budget, offer real salad ingredients for kids to mix and match. Let them eat their creations.

Activity #2 — Fun Facts: Divide the kids into groups and give each a different felt ingredient. With younger kids, have each group think of something that makes that ingredient special. With older kids, have them research the health impact of that ingredient. Have each group present their findings and put their piece in the tray. At the end, present the tray to the kids — look at the great salad they can make together!

Salad Worksheet:

Salad Worksheet

If you like what you see, get the handouts for free! Here are PDF copies of the leader guide and activity page, just for you!

Salad Leader Guide

Salad WorksheetPS These would be perfect for National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, which is coming right up!

And here are more fruit and vegetable resources from the Nutrition Education Store. Remember, we’re here to help you look your very best…

Fruit and Vegetable Poster Set

Fruit and Vegetable Balloon Set

Color Your World with Food Banner