Skip to main content
Skip to page content

Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > My Health > Infant and Children > Kids Health > MyFoodPyramid Nutrition

mypyramidbanner.gif  

 The food guide pyramid has been rebuilt! The biggest change is that the food groups are no longer horizontal blocks of the pyramid. Now, a rainbow of colored, vertical stripes represent the five food groups, as well as fats and oils.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) changed the pyramid because they wanted to do a better job of telling Americans how to be healthy. Notice the guy climbing the staircase up the side of the pyramid. That's a way of showing how important it is to exercise and be active. For a kid, that means playing a lot! Check out the Healthy Toolkit! The steps are also a way of saying that you can make changes little by little to be healthier. One step at a time.

                            The Pyramid Speaks
Let's look at some of the other messages this new symbol is trying to send:

Eat a variety of foods. A balanced diet is one that includes all the food groups.  

Eat less of some foods, and more of others. You can see that the bands for meat and protein (purple) and oils (yellow) are skinnier than the others. That's because you need less of those kinds of foods than you do of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy foods.

You also can see the bands start out wider and get thinner as they approach the top. That's designed to show you that not all foods are created equal, even within a healthy food group like fruit. For instance, apple pie might be in that thin part of the fruit band because it has a lot of added sugar and fat. A whole apple - crunch! - would be down in the wide part because you can eat more of those within a healthy diet.                          

Make it personal. Through the USDA's MyPyramid website, people can get personalized recommendations about the mix of foods they need to eat and how much they should be eating.    Through the USDA's MyPyramid website, people can get personalized recommendations about the mix of foods they need to eat and how much they should be eating.