My Pyramid: Basics

Families, Food and Fitness October 28, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

What does the MyPyramid symbol represent?

The MyPyramid symbol represents two key aspects of good health – healthful eating and physical activity. Each of the colors in the pyramid represents one of the five food groups from which to choose for good health:

  • Orange for grains
  • Green for vegetables
  • Red for fruits
  • Blue for milk
  • Purple for meat and beans

Between the blue and purple sections is a yellow band that represents oils. This is not a food group but a reminder that some oils are important for good health. The person climbing the steps on the MyPyramid drawing represents physical activity. It is important to be active most or all days of the week.

What key messages does MyPyramid convey?

The symbol is meant to show several key points: ACTIVITY – The person climbing the steps represents activity. Daily physical activity is vital to good health.

GRADUAL IMPROVEMENT – The MyPyramid slogan, “Steps to a Healthier You,” encourages you to make gradual improvements. You don’t have to change your entire life all at once. Each small change moves you in the right direction. Small steps in improving your diet and lifestyle add up to big benefits over time. These principles are reflected in MyPyramid and are designed to help you stay as healthy as possible.

VARIETY – Each of six different colored bands represents one of the five food groups and oils. The bands indicate that you should eat a variety of foods from all groups to maintain good health.

MODERATION – The shape of the food group bands represents moderation. Each band is wider at the bottom, representing foods with a lot of nutrients but few fats or added sugars. You should eat these foods more often. The narrow portion at the top of each band represents foods with more fats or added sugars. Eat these foods less often.

PROPORTION – The width of the food group bands represents proportion. You should eat more foods from the wider bands and fewer foods from the more narrow bands. But these aren’t exact guides. Refer to your MyPyramid for the specific amounts of each food group you should be eating.

PERSONALIZATION – The person on the steps shows personalization. One pyramid doesn’t work for everyone. Your pyramid takes into account your age, gender, and physical activity level. To find your personal pyramid and the amounts of food to eat each day, visit the website,[1].

Next: My_Pyramid:_Inside_the_Pyramid >>


Lesson Contents
I. Introduction
II. My Pyramid: Basics
III. My Pyramid: Inside the Pyramid

a. My Pyramid: Make Half Your Grains Whole
b. My Pyramid: Vary Your Veggies
c. My Pyramid: Focus on Fruits
d. My Pyramid: Get Your Calcium Rich Foods
e. My Pyramid: Go Lean with Protein!
f. My Pyramid: Know the Limits on Fats, Salt, and Sugars
g. My Pyramid: Discretionary Calories

IV. Healthy Weight and Physical Activity


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.