Should seniors follow the USDA MyPlate recommendations?


MyPlate is the most recent tool released by the USDA that serves as an icon to remind consumers to eat healthfully. It depicts the five food groups using a familiar mealtime visual, a place setting. MyPlate is the focal point for a larger, web-based communication and education initiative at that provides information, tips and tools to help you build a healthier diet based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 

Also available at is an interactive food guidance system that is based on the USDA Food Patterns, which will provide you with a personalized food plan based on the latest nutrition and health recommendations. Consuming a calorie appropriate, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods in moderation will also allow you to meet the DRIs for your specific nutrient needs based on your age and gender.
MyPlate, USDA's food pyramid
Marilyn Ricci, M.S., R.D.
Nutrition & Dietetics

The USDA MYPlate is a useful tool for everyone, no matter what their age. As you get older and especially if you live alone, it can be difficult to eat a well-balanced diet. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services, Administration on Aging administers the Elderly Nutrition Program which provides meals to seniors throughout the country. These meals follow the MyPlate recommendations and are available in the home or at designated community sites. Your town website can tell you where the meal site is in your area.  

Dr. Nancy Munoz
Nutrition & Dietetics

The MyPlate recommendations are meant to help Americans of all ages operationalize the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines promote the importance of eating a variety of groups from the five food groups to ensure that people of ALL AGES (including older adults) ingest the nutrients their bodies need. The MyPlate offers a great visual for older adults to ensure that a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein sources, whole grain foods, and fat free dairy products are consumed on a daily basis.

Sarah Krieger
Nutrition & Dietetics
In a word-absolutely! The new MyPlate recommendations are aimed at all healthy children and adults age 2 and older. What a great visual for adults to use when they prepare meals for themselves. Even if you have hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol, the Myplate guidelines of eating mostly fruits and vegetables and smaller amounts of low-saturated fat protein foods and whole grains may help lower chronic conditions because we know through research that a heavily plant-based diet is beneficial in many health situations. If you need a unique diet with more specific nutrition guidelines, then finding a registered dietitian on is best, but if you are generally healthy, then the guidelilnes are for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.