MyPlate Plan – USDA

What is MyPlate Plan USDA

MyPlate is an outline of a general healthy diet based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This organization sets guidelines for how much food you should eat from each food group based on your age, gender, and level of physical activity.

What are tips for following MyPlate?

To follow MyPlate recommendations:

  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, grains, and protein foods.
  • Serve smaller portions and eat less food throughout the day.
  • Limit portion sizes to avoid overeating.
  • Enjoy your food.
  • Get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. This is about 30 minutes each day, 5 or more days per week.

It can be difficult to have every meal look like MyPlate.

Think about MyPlate as eating guidelines for an entire day, rather than each individual meal.

Fruits and vegetables

  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat many different colors of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • For a 2,000 calorie daily food plan, eat:
    • 2½ cups of vegetables every day.
    • 2 cups of fruit every day.
  • 1 cup is equal to:
    • 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables.
    • 1 cup raw fruit.
    • 1 medium-sized orange, apple, or banana.
    • 1 cup 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
    • 2 cups raw leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, or kale.
    • ½ cup dried fruit.


  • One fourth of your plate should be grains.
  • Make at least half of the grains you eat each day whole grains.
  • For a 2,000 calorie daily food plan, eat 6 oz of grains every day.
  • 1 oz is equal to:
    • 1 slice bread.
    • 1 cup cereal.
    • ½ cup cooked rice, cereal, or pasta.


  • One fourth of your plate should be protein.
  • Eat a wide variety of protein foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and tofu.
  • For a 2,000 calorie daily food plan, eat 5½ oz of protein every day.
  • 1 oz is equal to:
    • 1 oz meat, poultry, or fish.
    • ¼ cup cooked beans.
    • 1 egg.
    • ½ oz nuts or seeds.
    • 1 Tbsp peanut butter.


  • Drink fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Eat or drink dairy as a side to meals.
  • For a 2,000 calorie daily food plan, eat or drink 3 cups of dairy every day.
  • 1 cup is equal to:
    • 1 cup milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or soy milk (soy beverage).
    • 2 oz processed cheese.
    • 1½ oz natural cheese.

Fats, oils, salt, and sugars

  • Only small amounts of oils are recommended.
  • Avoid foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value (empty calories), like foods high in fat or added sugars.
  • Choose foods that are low in salt (sodium). Choose foods that have less than 140 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Drink enough water each day to keep your urine pale yellow.

USDA MyPlate Food Groups

MyPlate is USDA’s food group symbol. The MyPlate symbol is a reminder to make healthy food choices. Each USDA MyPlate food group is represented by a different color on MyPlate.

  • Grains – orange.
  • Vegetables – green.
  • Fruits – red.
  • Dairy – blue.
  • Protein foods – purple.

Where to find support

  • Work with your health care provider or a nutritionist (dietitian) to develop a customized eating plan that is right for you.
  • Download an app (mobile application) to help you track your daily food intake.

Seek Additional Information

  • Go to for more information.
  • Learn more and log your daily food intake according to MyPlate using USDA’s SuperTracker:  


  • MyPlate is a general guideline for healthy eating from the USDA.
  • It is based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Ideally, the fruits and vegetables should take up ½ of your plate, grains should take up ¼ of your plate, and protein should take up ¼ of your plate.

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