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Salsa, Sabor y Salud: MiPlato Celebrates the Strengths of Latino Traditions

How are you celebrating National Nutrition Month? An easy way to incorporate great nutrition every day is to make MyPlate your plate. You can do that at your own dining table, and you can also help others do so, as well. People across the country have been doing that for a long time by using the plate method to educate kids about building healthy, fun plates that celebrate America’s many cultures and communities.

For example, Salsa, Sabor y Salud has been teaching elementary students about healthy plates since 2002. It is a bilingual nutrition education program created by the non-profit National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI).  Using USDA’s “My Pyramid,” the program created “El Plato Saludable” (“The Healthy Plate”) to teach students each food group. Through this innovative program, more than 35,000 Latinos in 28 states and Puerto Rico participated in nutrition education classes over the past decade.  Last year, NLCI partnered with the YMCA in order to expand nutrition education classes to 90 YMCAs across the country. This year, NCLI plans to expand their nutrition education classes into 40 more YMCAs.

With the advent of MiPlato, the new Spanish-language food icon for MyPlate, NLCI became a supporter of Let’s Move Faith and Communities and joined the Nutrition Communicators Network to promote MyPlate and MiPlato. Salsa, Sabor y Salud continues to help Latino families learn how to plan healthy, nutritious meals by delivering simple messages: eat foods from each food group, choose sensible portions, be physically active, and take small steps toward of leadership to advocate for healthy communities where you live, work, and play.

A program participant celebrates pineapple during a Salsa, Sabor y Salud program.

A program participant celebrates pineapple during a Salsa, Sabor y Salud program.

That’s exactly the message First Lady Michelle Obama encourages Let’s Move! supporters to deliver to their congregations and communities using MiPlato: “And that’s really what “MiPlato” is all about.  It’s a framework that any family can use — any family.  Any culture can interpret the plate in a way that is true to their traditions.  You just fill up half of the plate with fruits and vegetables, you start there, and you fill the rest of it with lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy products.  It is just that simple.”

If you’re ready to get your community started, check out the MyPlate Community Toolkit for positive messages you can communicate about healthy eating and active living. You can join the network of Let’s Move Faith and Communities supporters. Is your community already moving? Submit a video to the new Communities on the Move Video Challenge. You could win a trip to Washington, DC!

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