Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sectional Plates Part 1: Half Your Plate with Vegetables

Last June, The United States Department of Agriculture revealed the new "Food Pyramid" in the form of a plate, depicting half the plate filled with fruits and vegetables.  On the live twitter stream, most nutritionists were loving it, some thought it still had problems (too much milk, no definition of "protein"), but EVERYONE loved the simplicity of it, including me.  I was also happy for my colleague, Amy Roskelley from Healthy Kids Plate, who was ahead of her time and who had recently sent me some plates for review.

I have always loved the idea of a sectional plate for kids that helps teach kids how to eat.  But I did have some reservations about sectional plates in general (more on that tomorrow), and some of the plates on the market you can find at the time.  I thought the food options would be too limiting (depicting chicken for protein and no beans, a picture of bread and pasta but no quinoa or millet, a picture of pretzels for grains).

However, after using various sectional plates for many months, I can see how they have helped me and my children.  I am more aware of serving vegetables and my children are more aware of having them on their plate (and hopefully eaten) too. And Amy has a new plate with beans and no pretzels, yay! But I have to say that I still prefer to use a plate with no pictures- it's simple, clean, and leaves room for imagination. Just remember that the largest section is for produce.  I try to have just vegetables in it at dinner since my children have usually eaten fruit during breakfast and snack already and may not have eaten vegetables at breakfast or in school. An added benefit is that the "lip" on the sections, assists young eaters to self-feed and be more independent.

So here is the roundup of sectional plates available, with and without pictures, you can decide what you like.  Tomorrow I will showcase how my family fills half of our plates, so stay tuned! And a plate giveaway is coming up soon too!

Still clueless about what to serve your child?
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Sectional Plates, no pictures:

Tommee Tippee's puts fruits and veggies up and center and has nice deep sections
Disclaimer: Tommee Tippe provided this plate to me free of charge at their NYC premier.

Sectional Plates, with pictures:
(As one mom told me: "Maybe these will show my kids I'm not making this nutrition stuff up.")

Amy's Healthy Kids Plate, New Design (no pretzels for dinner, yay).
Disclaimer: Healthy Kids Plate provided me with this plate for review.

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