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MyPlate, MyState Helps You Bring the Joy of Local Foods to the Classroom

Posted by David Herring, Campaign Manager, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in Initiatives Food and Nutrition
Feb 21, 2017
MyPlate, MyState Pennsylvania sample coloring sheet
MyPlate, MyState activities, including this sample coloring sheet, can bring the joy of local foods into the classroom year-round.

Hello Teachers of America!

Are you looking for resources for your classes that combine topics such as food and nutrition, farmers and farmers markets, and your state’s agriculture?

The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy & Promotion (CNPP) – the group responsible for MyPlate – recently launched MyPlate, MyState – a mini-campaign that encourages consumers to personalize their healthy eating style with local and regional foods and flavors. MyPlate, MyState is part of MyPlate, MyWins, a consumer education campaign designed to help Americans find healthy eating styles that work for them through small changes that can be maintained over time. MyPlate, MyState brings home – literally and figuratively – the messages of MyPlate, MyWins by personalizing eating styles with local flavors, local foods, and local recipes.

Just in time to celebrate National Farm to School Month as well as a unique opportunity to promote the overlap between nutrition and agriculture in the classroom, CNPP is launching a MyPlate, MyState toolkit for teachers. This toolkit will provide links to lesson plans around gardening, agriculture and nutrition, as well as new MyPlate, MyState activity sheets that can be used this month and throughout the school year.

Teachers of younger students can download and print their state’s or territory’s MyPlate, MyState coloring sheets and include lessons on state history, geography, and agriculture, as well as to reinforce the concept of eating locally grown or locally produce foods. The MyPlate Grocery Store Bingo is a fun and interactive game that preschoolers and other young children can play while grocery shopping with adults. (It could also keep their minds occupied when passing by the candy aisle.) Other activities include a Taste Test Tuesday where new foods exploration can be encouraged inside or outside the classroom.

For slightly older children, a lesson by National Agriculture in the Classroom on fresh fruits is sure to keep the interest of the children – especially when accompanied with tasty snacks. A Local Foods MyPlate Menu can help children to think not just about foods and food groups, but how to put together basic meals. Drawing a sample menu is encouraged! A MyPlate to MyFamily activity fosters thinking about foods and family time.

Older children can design 5-day menus using as many local or state foods as they can think of, play a farm to plate game where they trace foods along the agricultural route to their tables, and also play a fun game called the Geography of Thanksgiving – which is complete with lessons on food sources and a hint of a geography lesson thrown in.

Using the MyPlate presence on Facebook and Twitter, USDA will also promote a series of stories, tips, and calls to action aimed at inspiring consumers of all ages to take advantage of the healthy foods availability in their communities while supporting rural economies. Coloring sheets and MyPlate Menus encourage the use of social media posting using #MyPlateMyState. We would love to see your school activities on social media with #MyPlateMyState too!

So visit for ideas and resources and to help reinforce healthy eating. It’s important to remember that foods from every state and territory in this nation can help us all uniquely personal ways to eat, eating styles that we can enjoy. And that can make all the difference!

MyPlate, MyState US map
MyPlate, MyState US map

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David Constantine
Oct 06, 2016

I like this research and coloring activity!! My wife and I enjoy the farmers markets with our two 5-year-old twins. They love to find out that there are huge farms not far from our urban home in Minneapolis, MN.

Shermonica Scott
Oct 07, 2016

I visit the Farmer's Market often in Rocky Mount, NC. I try to use ideas and materials from the market in my lesson plans. I teach 7th (World History) and 8th ((NC History). I plan to download a NC My Plate to use with the students. Thank you for the innovative ideas.

Oct 14, 2016

This is very good to us, we really enjoy this new addition.I also promote my national food and meals.Actually at a time we used many kind of herbs,vegetables, spice and protein in our 1 time we have arranged different kind of meals in our diet plans.