Monday, October 17, 2011

Taste the Rainbow


The food pyramid is no more. It's gone. I had no idea. Was it even sick? I would have sent flowers had I known. Poor food Egyptians. Anyway, the food pyramid is no longer the go-to reference for youngsters looking to make healthy food choices. (All one of them.) Its replacement? MyPlate. Instead of the tried and true triangle diagram, it's a circle with different sized wedges. Whatevs. I guess that's fine. No big deal, right? WRONG.

You see, it's not just the shape that's changed. My mom, who teaches 2nd grade and has to share the new MyPlate with her students, tells me that the biggest change is the focus on color. In an effort to simplify things for the kiddies, children are now told to simply try to make their plates colorful. A healthy plate is one with lots of different colors.

Now, I know what they're getting at. Most veggies are green. Grains are brown and white. Dairy is yellow or white. Fruits are red, orange, purple, blue. Meat is red or brown. You could construct a pretty healthy meal by going with the color idea. But if I'm a kid and I know I'm supposed to fill my plate with different colors, here's what my diet would look like:
Dinner is served?

BREAKFAST: Jolly Ranchers

LUNCH: Rainbow Sherbet w/ Sprinkles


And remember, these are kids. Kids put all kinds of things in their mouths. I could easily see MyPlate backfire into this diet:


LUNCH: Glitter

DINNER: An Eric Carle book

Maybe I don't give kids enough credit, but I don't think the whole color thing is a good idea. And what if the kid's colorblind? Can you say eating disorder? I say bring back the pyramid. And while we're bringing back things from my youth, how bout Legends of the Hidden Temple? Now there's something that promotes healthy living. Challenging physical activities, brain-stimulating quizzes, teamwork, blue barracudas... the show had it all. Surely there's room on TV for a show with that much to offer. Do we really need another "cycle" of America's Next Top Model? Haven't we had enough trips down Project Runway? Would anyone miss the Lifetime channel?