MyPlate Online Survey Shows How to Convince Kids Eat More Veggies


497 moms, aged from 18 to 65, took part in an online survey about MyPlate, an initiative by the United States Department of Agriculture to remind people to eat healthfully. From some of the results, shared below, you may be able to learn how to convince your kids eat more vegetables, and get healthier.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed MyPlate back in June 2011. MyPlate, which actually replaced MyPyramid, is an original, useful way to understand what a healthy plate looks like. The MyPlate colorful icon, the circle shown below, is part of an initiative based upon the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help all citizens and consumers make better food choices.


MyPlate Logo is shown above (Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 License)

Of course, the circle was crafted by the USDA for American citizens, but really, since MyPlate is a reminder to eat healthfully, that can be used by anyone from around the world. As you could gather from the image above, the easy-to-understand, colorful icon helps you think more about what’s on your plate, also showing healthy proportions of fruit, grains, protein, vegetables, and dairy products within a single meal.

MyPlate Online Survey

Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University along with Dr. Sibylle Kranz of Purdue University decided to find out how many people actually started using MyPlate within the first three months of release.

Both researchers were particularly interested in gathering an understanding of how many mothers – who play a big, important role as “nutritional gamekeepers” in almost all families – started to actively use MyPlate, and what these moms had in common. A U.S. online survey – including questions about their demographics, knowledge, behavior as well as attitudes – was completed by 497 mothers aged 18-65.

Survey’s Results

The results of this survey, all of which can be found on this “Who’s Using MyPlate” paper (an account is needed to access the research), indicate that:

  • 46 out of the 497 moms were familiar with MyPlate; that is a 9 percent of the population under exam.
  • 105 were somewhat familiar; that is a 21 percent.
  • 349 were not familiar at all; that is a 70 percent.
  • Moms familiar with MyPlate also knew about MyPyramid.
  • Those moms who found MyPlate easy to interpret and applicable to their lives were more likely to understand its potential to help their families eat better.
  • All moms who adopted MyPlate were more likely to love vegetables, and of course involve children too to eat them.

What Can You Learn From All This?

From the online survey, and the results we’ve just explored together, we can definitely learn the following:

  • Get your kids helping you with meal preparation: they can help with making grocery lists, set and clear the table, clip coupons, and also cooking. The important thing here is that you don’t involve the kids in cooking alone, but in a variety of activities, so they can learn more about food.
  • Be an example for your kids: just telling them to eat vegetables won’t cut it; you need to show children you eat veggies too. Moreover, make it a family habit to try new vegetables as much as possible; you may start with once or twice a week perhaps.
  • Visit and start using the website. This latter is user-friendly as well as colorful, but also filled with useful tips, videos, printable material, the SuperTracker, and a lot of other tools that can help you transform your and your family life in a healthy one.

Intro image: L2.jpg. Image credit: Mait Jüriado via Flickr, under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 License
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