Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education
University of California
Niños Saños, Familia Sana: Family Nutrition Education

Lesson 1.2: Use MyPlate to plan family meals

Background  What does a healthy meal look like? The answer varies across different cultures.  For people in the United States, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans  recommend a healthy eating pattern that prevents chronic diseases. People can use MyPlate©  to choose healthy foods that fit with their preferences, traditions, culture, and budget.

Parents should prepare daily meals and snacks that include healthy choices from all five food groups. These groups are fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Key tips  to make the healthiest choices include:


  • Make half your plate fruit and vegetables;
  • Focus on whole fruits;
  • Vary your veggies;
  • Make half your grains whole grains;
  • Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt;
  • Vary your protein routine; and
  • Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar

Target Audience: Latino families with young children, ages 3 to 8 years

Key Message: Use MyPlate to plan healthy meals to help children grow and stay healthy.

Objectives: By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Identify why children need foods from the five MyPlate groups;
  • Plan a meal including four or more MyPlate groups; and
  • Discuss ways that parents can avoid preparing two different meals.


  • MyPlate (English) poster MyPlate (Spanish) poster
  • White paper plates (2 per person) and markers;
  • Optional: a variety food models or containers to show examples of different food groups;
  • Supplies and recipes for food demonstration (suggested Spanish Salad).

Handouts:  Spanish salad (English, Spanish) recipe, Choose MyPlate (English, Spanish

Set-up: Post the MyPlate© posters on wall or where visible by all participants. Place plates, markers, food models in middle of table where participants have access to supplies.

Click here for complete English lesson  Lesson 1.2 Use MyPlate (English version)


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