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MyPlate offers healthier choices for living

Layered in a pan and doubling the recipe means you can serve this recipe for Lemon Velvet Supreme to a large group
A few weeks ago, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed their new logo for promoting healthier eating. The new logo is a plate that is divided up into four color/food groups with a small circle representing the dairy group attached to the upper right half of the plate.
   In the early 1990's the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion was formed to help improve the well-being and nutrition of Americans. Since then they have been working with health professionals and experts to provide guidelines for healthy eating.
   While early logos have changed over the years they have always included at least five food groups for people to focus on when making food choices. The current MyPyramid includes Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Milk, and Meat & Beans as food groups – with a small slice of the pyramid representing oils. While oils are not a recommended food group, it is included because our bodies need a small amount of healthy fats and oils to work efficiently.
   This new emphasis on Choosing MyPlate is a new emphasis on making eating healthy more simple. I'm sure that recommendations will be refined as other professionals absorb the information just released but basically the government recommendation is that if you make half your plate fruit and vegetables you will be making healthy choices.
   The trick to this new media blitz is to convince people that French fries and fruit by the foot do not constitute vegetables and fruit. While I know there is still more to understand about this new icon for good health, I feel it is a good step.
   While I was on their website I read about the testimony of how a fast food meal stood up to the MyPlate Challenge. A person puts their fast food order on the plate and see how it measures up portion size and food group-wise. By simply choosing small sizes and substituting a side salad for the French fries, the meal was greatly improved in both calorie count and nutrients.
   I would encourage you to watch for more information to be coming about the new MyPlate recommendations. You can look up more information on www.choosemyplate.gov.
   While I was there looking around, I found this recipe. I tried it out on my co-workers and received rave reviews. It is really easy and if you use plain low-fat yogurt, you will lower the fat as well as the sugar – while not losing too much flavor.
   When I made it for our Sunday night Bible Study group, I added whipped cream but thought it was too rich. Maybe with the plain yogurt it would have been less sweet and would have balanced out better with the cream.
   I also plan to try different flavors of pudding next time I make this quick and healthy dessert. Layered in a pan and doubling the recipe means you can serve this to a large group and cut down some of the preparation time. I really liked how it looked when I made it in small clear cups.
   Have a safe and memorable Independence Day and Enjoy!