Thursday, June 9, 2011

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Introducing... MyPlate!

June is National Dairy Month, an opportunity to highlight the importance of dairy products in a balanced diet. It's only fitting that during this celebration, a new tool for planning nutritious diets is revealed. Meet MyPlate:

You may remember MyPlate's predecessor, MyPyramid. Some of you may even be able to think back to the original dietary guidelines presented in the Food Guide Pyramid. All of these tools, managed by the United States Department of Agriculture, have helped families include all of the essential food groups in their diets. Though the servings have shifted somewhat, dairy has been included in each of the tools as an important part in everyone's diets.

As you look at MyPlate, you'll see dairy off to the top right corner, representing a glass. Low-fat and fat-free milk are wonderful ways to get the nutritional benefits of dairy, but don't forget cheese and yogurt as well. Whether they are in the glass or on the plate, dairy should be a part of every meal, or you should aim to at least consume three servings a day.

As dairy farmers, we take a great deal of pride in producing a product that provides so many essential nutrients to consumers. Milk and dairy products are chocked full of calcium, potassium, and protein. To learn more about the health benefits of dairy, visit the National Dairy Council.