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    USDA MyPlate, PBH Bow ‘What’s on MyPlate?’ Day

    March 8 observance includes all forms of fruits and veggies

    Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is teaming up with the nearly 6,000 USDA partners to designate March 8 “What’s on MyPlate?” Day, with the goal of raising public awareness of the importance of choosing foods for a healthy meal. Hockessin, Del.-based PBH aims to promote a diet reflecting the latest recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in particular to fill half one’s plate with fruits and vegetables.

    The MyPlate icon, introduced last summer to replace MyPyramid, was designed as a visual cue to remind consumers to make healthful food choices. It backs the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, features the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy), and encourages users to go online for more information.

    “What’s on MyPlate?” Day will generate national attention via social networks such as blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which will promote MyPlate and its related messages and resources, including the new online SuperTracker diet- and exercise-planning tool.

    As part of the effort, PBH and the USDA Nutrition Communicators Network are urging consumers to put MyPlate into action by photographing their healthful plates to share on Twitter with the hashtag #MyPlate, as a way to inspire others. Photos of MyPlate-style meals can also be shared with the USDA Flickr Photo Group.

    The National Turkey Federation (NTF) and Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers are among the partners on board to vigorously support “What’s on MyPlate?” day by touting nutrient-rich turkey and fresh fruit as perfect dietary choices.

    Stemilt -- a leading tree fruit grower, packer and shipper of  of sweet cherries and the largest supplier of organic tree fruits in the nation -- for the third consecutive year was recently named a Fruits & Veggies–More Matters Role Model by PBH. The recognition is handed down annually to non-retail companies for their outstanding support of PBH’s national public health campaign that focuses on getting adults and children alike to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables.

    Roger Pepperl, Stemilt marketing director and current chair of PBH’s board of trustees, said the company's recognition as a PBH role model this year dovetails well with the USDA's “What’s on MyPlate?” day as a means of "continuing to help spread the message of how beneficial consuming more fruits and veggies each day can be.”

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