Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has unveiled a child-friendly version of the new MyPyramid Food Guidance System called MyPyramid for Kids. Johanns visited Samuel Tucker Elementary School to unveil the new graphic symbol, lesson plans for grades 1-6 and an interactive game.
"This is a fun approach to addressing the very serious problem of childhood obesity," said Johanns. "As teachers take advantage of the lesson plans and children learn what it takes to win the game, messages about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity will take hold. We know that MyPyramid captured America's attention and our hope is that MyPyramid for Kids will inspire the same level of interest and help to improve the health of America's kids."
MyPyramid for Kids provides age-appropriate information about the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid Food Guidance System released earlier this year. The new MyPyramid for Kids symbol represents the recommended proportion of food from each food group and focuses on the importance of making smart food choices every day. Daily physical activity is prominent in MyPyramid for Kids. Through an interactive game, lesson plans, colorful posters and flyers, worksheets, and valuable tips for families, MyPyramid for Kids encourages children, teachers, and parents to work together to make healthier food choices and be active every day.
The interactive computer game, called MyPyramid Blast Off, involves a rocket that needs fuel to blast off. The game reinforces the key concepts of MyPyramid for Kids by challenging students to select a healthy variety of foods and physical activities to fuel their rockets. The MyPyramid for Kids lesson plans provide nutrition and physical activity information that can be included in Math, Science, Health, Language Arts and Physical Education curriculum for elementary school students. Students participate in active learning assignments and handouts are provided for students to share with their families.
The MyPyramid for Kids slogan for children is "Eat Right. Exercise. Have Fun". The key messages of MyPyramid for Kids are:
- Be physically active every day - The child climbing the steps reminds children that physical activity should be done every day.
- Choose healthier foods from each group - Every food group has foods that you should eat more often than others.
- Eat more of some food groups than others - The different size stripes suggest how much food you should choose from each group.
- Eat foods from every food group every day - The different colors of the pyramid represent the five different food groups plus oils.
- Make the right choices for you - MyPyramid.gov gives everyone in the family personal ideas on how to eat better and exercise more.
- Take it one step at a time - Start with one new, good thing a day, and continue to add another new one every day.
The MyPyramid Food Guidance System website, MyPyramid.gov, has experienced more than 800-millon hits and MyPyramid Tracker, a personalized assessment tool that provides information on diet quality, now has nearly 480,000 registered users. The MyPyramid for Kids activities for children and classroom materials for educators are also available on the web at
http://MyPyramid.gov. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and consumer brochure are available at www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines.