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Welcome to the MyPlate New Year’s Challenge

Posted by Erica Gavey, RD; Nutritionist Consultant, Office of Nutrition Marketing and Communications, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, and Kara Carter, University of Maryland Dietetic Intern in Initiatives Food and Nutrition
Feb 21, 2017
The 5-week MyPlate New Year’s Challenge lets you earn points for making small changes that add up to big wins.  Find your #MyPlateMyWins at
The 5-week MyPlate New Year’s Challenge lets you earn points for making small changes that add up to big wins. Find your #MyPlateMyWins at

The MyPlate Team welcomes you to join us for a fun and competitive way to start the New Year—join our MyPlate New Year’s Challenge! The MyPlate Team is hosting a 5-week challenge, featuring a new food group each week along with physical activity. Join our New Year’s Challenge now by visiting our MyPlate New Year's Challenge page or by searching for “MYPLATE” on SuperTracker’s Join Group page. It’s never too late to join, so make sure to share this opportunity with your friends, family, and coworkers!

The first food group featured in the Challenge is the Dairy Food Group. Dairy foods include all fluid milk products as well as foods made from milk that retain their calcium content, like cheese and yogurt. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group. Calcium is a mineral that helps us to build bones and teeth, and maintain bone mass. Choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy options helps lower your intake of saturated fat. 

Making small changes to your daily beverages choices can be an easy and achievable way to reach the daily recommended 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free dairy! As you participate in the MyPlate New Year’s Challenge this week, try to choose beverages that help you stay hydrated and limit your intake of added sugars and saturated fat:

  • Include milk or calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) as a beverage at mealtimes.
  • If you drink cappuccinos or lattes, ask for them with fat-free (skim) milk and skip the “whip”.
  • Make a smoothie with fat-free or low-fat milk and/or fat-free yogurt.

Check out our video for more #MyPlateMyWins for Beverages:

Physical activity also is a key component of a healthier you! Make small changes at the start of your day to increase your physical activity, such as getting off the bus a stop early, parking further away from work, or taking the steps instead of an elevator.

Small changes make a big difference in the long run! For more ideas on incorporating fat-free and low-fat dairy in your day, checkout recipes on What’s Cooking: USDA Mixing Bowl; you can use Nutrition Focus Filters (Dairy, Get more calcium, or Move to fat-free or low-fat dairy) to refine your search. Visit our MyPlate Tip Sheets for more ideas for making the switch, including at your coffee shop stop! Use SuperTracker to track your progress towards healthier eating solutions and share your own tips and real solutions for healthy eating in 2017 using #MyPlateMyWins. Don’t forget to sign up for email notifications on SuperTracker to stay up-to-date with the Challenge!

MyPlate, MyWins will guide you in your journey towards healthy eating in the New Year. For more healthy eating tips and resources, visit, follow MyPlate on Facebook and Twitter, join or use SuperTracker, and sign up for email updates.

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Jan 03, 2017

I want to share this with partners, but the Super Tracker link to sign up is broke, has been for days

John P Carroll
Jan 03, 2017

I live in a senior community where the menu is fixed and residents have limited choices in what they can have at each meal. We complain--to no avail --about the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Also, because of a variety of medical conditions I have some limitations on physical activity.
Given that I am going to try the challenge.

Jan 03, 2017

Is there some place that indicates how much one serving or one activity is in the Quick Tracker?
I can't tell what the serving sizes are that are being measured.
I can't tell if it is 10 minutes worth of something or 30.
The Challenge Quick Tracker doesn't appear to link with the SuperTracker.

Laura Pilgrim
Jan 03, 2017

Aren't there other ways to get the nutrition that you are referencing, ie, calcium, than from dairy. Dairy has own downside.

Judy Moritz
Jan 03, 2017

Yes I want to accept the challenge

Jackie Clarke
Jan 04, 2017

Yes, I want to accept the challenge.

Ben Weaver
Jan 05, 2017

@Erin - previously the link wasn’t working on mobile devices but the issue has been corrected. Please try again! Sorry for the inconvenience!

Ben Weaver
Jan 05, 2017

@EduMom - the Quick Tracker is designed as a fun and easy tool for self-reporting your food and physical activity choices. Use it to track each time you have completed an activity (regardless of duration) or eaten one of the dairy foods listed (regardless of amount). To learn more about what counts as a cup in the Dairy Group, visit <a href="; rel="nofollow"></a&gt;. For more detailed information, consider SuperTracker’s Food Tracker (<a href="; rel="nofollow"></a&gt;) and Physical Activity Tracker (<a href="; rel="nofollow"></a&gt;).

Erica Jones Martinez
Jan 06, 2017

will this page be reset for next week's fruit challenge?

virginia anderson
Jan 08, 2017

Thank you for you invitation to paeticipate

Inez Coleman
Jan 08, 2017

Yes I want to accept the challenge.

Jan 09, 2017

How do you get an access code to join?

Kim Kroener
Jan 09, 2017

This is a great program, it would probably be much more popular if there was an app for smartphones!!

Jan 09, 2017

will like to join

Ben Weaver
Jan 12, 2017

@Erica Jones Martinez - yes, each week the new challenge will be added on the Friday before it starts. The challenges run Monday - Thursday so log into the Quick Tracker today to start the Fruit and Physical Activity Challenge!