What’s Your Healthy Eating Style?

It’s National Nutrition Month, which means there is no shortage of nutrition advice out there.  The information can be overwhelming and confusing.  No two bodies are alike, which is why you should strive to find your own healthy-eating style and maintain it for a lifetime.  MyPlate is a great guide for finding healthy eating solutions.  Choosing healthy foods and drinks creates personal “ wins.”  If you make “ winning” choices more often, you create a healthier now and a better future for ourselves.


1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.  All food and beverage choices matter.  Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.  To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.

3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.  Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.  Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.

4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.  Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices.  Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.

5. Support healthy eating patterns for all.  Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

Healthy Eating Patterns


Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.). Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan [Infographic].

For the Classroom: Mini MyPlate Pizzas

Father and son making pizzas.


These mini pizzas are a delicious and filling snack that includes all five food groups of the MyPlate!  Choose whole-grain bagels ( grain), fresh tomato sauce ( fruit), part-skim mozzarella cheese ( dairy),
grilled chicken (protein), and your choice of crunchy fruit or vegetables ( vegetable).


  • Mini whole-grain bagels or English muffins
  • Tomato sauce
  • Part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Grilled chicken
  • Other toppings may include: sliced tomatoes, spinach, pineapple, and even broccoli


 1. Cut mini bagels in half.

2. Place a tablespoon of tomato sauce on top of bagel slice.

3. Sprinkle with cheese.

4. Top with chicken pieces and a few slices of fresh fruit or veggies.  Note: green veggies go best under cheese.

5. Place in toaster oven until cheese melts and bagel is toasted.


Interested in bringing this topic to your classroom? Try Food for Thought 

The Poe Center offers a wide variety of  nutrition and physical activity classes for preschool – 12th grades and adults.  Call 919-231-4006 or go on line to schedule a program.

Students sort foods according to MyPlate.
Health educators use Poe’s giant MyPlate to help students learn about the five food groups.

Food for Thought

Grade Level: 4th – 5th
Program Length: 60 minutes

Have your students ever asked… Why do we need food? What is “MyPlate”? What are the different food groups and do I need to eat foods from all of them? How does media influence food choices? Are all body types the same? Is dieting healthy? If you said yes to any of these questions, don’t give it a second thought; sign up for this program today. The session will answer each of these questions and more.