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The Basics
Eat Better: The Basics
Eating better might seem like a daunting task, especially with all the options we have these days. That is why it’s important to learn what’s healthy and what’s not. Keep an eye out for false health claims. Begin to read labels and make note of things like high levels of sugar and sodium. Eat more fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats and non-fat dairy products and you’ll be fueled and ready for healthier living.

How Much Do You Need?

MyPyramid.gov
ChooseMyPlate.gov offers personalized plans to help identify how much from each food group you need daily. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for more information on eating better.

Get your daily food plan here.

Portion Control

The Plate Method
The Plate Method
Use the “Plate Method” to see if you’re eating the right amount of food. The portions should fit a 9 inch plate, but since most plates measure 12 inches, leave room around the outside edge.
  • ½ fruits and veggies
  • ¼ whole grains and starches
  • ¼ lean meat or protein

Be careful! Plate sizes have increased over the years, as have portion sizes at restaurants and fast food chains. Check out the difference between food today versus 20 years ago and see how much it’s affecting your calorie consumption.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies are low in calories, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, add color to your plate and may reduce your risk of disease. See how much you need each day and learn ways to add more to your diet.

Women
Activity Level Age Fruits
(cups)
Veggies
(cups)
Less Active 19-30 1 1/2 2 1/2
31-50 1 1/2 2 1/2
51+ 1 1/2 2
Moderately
Active
19-50 2 3
51+ 1 1/2 2 1/2
Active
19-50 2 3
51+ 2 3
Men
Activity Level Age Fruits
(cups)
Veggies
(cups)
Less Active 19-50 2 3 1/2
51+ 2 3
Moderately
Active
19-30 2 3 1/2
31+ 2 3 1/2
Active
19-30 2 1/2 4
31-51 2 1/2 4
51+ 2 1/2 3 1/2
Boys
Activity Level Age Fruits
(cups)
Veggies
(cups)
Less Active 2-3 1 1
4-8 1 1 1/2
9-13 1 1/2 2 1/2
14-18 2 3
Moderately
Active
2-3 1 1 1/2
4-8 1 1/2 2
9-13 1 1/2 3
14-18 2 3 1/2
Active
2-3 1 1 1/2
4-8 1 1/2 2 1/2
9-13 2 3 1/2
14-18 2 1/2 4
Girls
Activity Level Age Fruits
(cups)
Veggies
(cups)
Less Active 2-3 1 1
4-8 1 1 1/2
9-13 1 1/2 2
14-18 1 1/2 2 1/2
Moderately
Active
2-3 1 1 1/2
4-8 1 1/2 2
9-13 1 1/2 2 1/2
14-18 2 2 1/2
Active
2-3 1 1 1/2
4-8 1 1/2 2 1/2
9-13 1 1/2 3
14-18 2 3

Drink More Water

Drinking more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages is one of the simplest things you can do to get healthy. Use the drink calculator to see how many empty calories hide in your favorite beverages. Then, make the commitment to drink more water.