The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has released the MyPlate, MyState toolkit for teachers looking to introduce their classes to the interrelationship between nutrition and agriculture. The toolkit is available in connection with National Farm-to-School Month, which continues throughout October.
The resources include lesson plans about gardening, agriculture and nutrition, as well as new MyPlate, MyState activity sheets that can be used throughout the school year.
Through MyPlate, MyState, USDA is working to make the connection between healthy eating and more than 160,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide that are selling into local markets through schools and other institutions, farmers markets, farm stands, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, grocery stores, and local restaurants. MyPlate, MyState is part of USDA’s efforts to support local and regional food systems and galvanize the important role that American agriculture plays in feeding American families.
To build on the main goal of the MyPlate, MyWins campaign — to help Americans find a healthy eating style that works for them through small changes they can maintain over time — MyPlate, MyState expands on this concept through a focus on local flavors, foods, and recipes. Foods and flavors from every state and territory in this nation can help us all create lasting healthy eating styles we can enjoy. MyPlate’s building blocks for healthy eating are a great place to start. Cook up some homegrown pride by using some of the resources in the lists below.
Common foods grown/ produced in California
- almonds, apples, apricots, asparagus, artichokes, avocados, barley, beans, beef, black-eyed peas, blueberries, bread, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cheese, cherries, chicken, chickpeas, cucumbers, dates, eggs, figs, garlic, grapefruits, grapes, green beans, honeydew, kiwi fruit, leaf lettuce, lemons, lima beans, milk, mushrooms, nectarines, oats, olives, onions, oranges, peaches, pears, pecans, peppers, persimmons, pistachios, plums, pomegranates, potatoes, prunes, pumpkins, raspberries, red kidney beans, rice, romaine lettuce, spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet corn, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, watermelon, wheat
State products of California
- State fruit: avocado
- State grain: rice
- State nut: almond
- State vegetable: artichoke
MyPlate, MyState in California
- What does your California plate look like? Using the resources listed below, show how you use local foods from your state and region to create balanced meals by taking a picture of your plate and sharing on social media using hashtag #MyPlateMyState. For more information, read the USDA blog announcement.
- California teachers can use the Toolkit for Teachers to download a variety of MyPlate, MyState focused lessons, games, and activities.
- This year’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ “State Dinner” with First Lady Michelle Obama put a spotlight on homegrown pride across the country. Over 1,200 recipes were submitted to the contest and many included foods grown/ produced in each state/ territory. One winner was chosen in each state/ territory.
- 2016 CA winner — Cannon’s California Rolls by Chef Cannon (age 8)
- 2015 CA winner — California Rainbow Taco with Mic-kale Obama Slaw and Barack-amole by Chef Aria (age 9)
- In California, up to 55% of schools are using local and regional foods to serve healthy, MyPlate-inspired meals to kids. That’s almost $168 million invested in the local economy! USDA’s Farm to School Census website has more information about school districts’ use of local foods in school breakfasts and lunches, as well as summer and preschool meals. And be sure to check out the story of California’s “One in Melon” award winner, Conejo Valley Unified School District, where the kids love to work in the school garden and look forward to the salad bar at lunch.
- MyPlate, MyState graphics (state icons, blank MyPlate for filling in your own foods, MyPlate Local Foods Menu)
- Toolkit for Teachers
- National Farmers Market Directory
- CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) Directory
- Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
For other states: