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Why do people and the media talk so much about healthy food? You are probably familiar with the food pyramid. But, have you ever heard of a plate? Take a look at both of them, and in pairs, and discuss the similarities and differences.

Rearange the following food to the right categories. Check the words in a picture dictionary if you're not sure what they mean.

{grains;vegetables;fruits;fats_and_oils;milk,_dairy_products;meat_and_beans}  rice, muesli, pasta, rolls, tortillas
{vegetables;grains;fruits;fats_and_oils;milk,_dairy_products;meat_and_beans}  celery, radish, eggplant, leek, asparagus
{fruits;grains;vegetables;fats_and_oils;milk,_dairy_products;meat_and_beans}  pomegranate, fig, raspberry, cranberry
{fats_and_oils;grains;vegetables;fruits;milk,_dairy_products;meat_and_beans}  lard, sunflower oil, peanut oil, margarine
{milk,_dairy_products;grains;vegetables;fruits;fats_and_oils;meat_and_beans}  cottage cheese, kefir, procesed chese, kaymak
{meat_and_beans;grains;vegetables;fruits;fats_and_oils;milk,_dairy_products}  lentils, soya beans, mutton, veal, anchovy

Now, do a Google search for ‘Food Pyramids and Plates’, read about the healthy eating plate, and copy the main reasons for it in your notebook. Then, in pairs, compare the ideas with your eating habits and express your opinion.

Read the What's on Your Plate and choose the right missing lines.

For a number of years, the food pyramid diagram was the main nutrition guide for those who care about what they eat. But there is a new food icon called ‘MyPlate’ that was released by the US government in 2011. This diagram  {intends_to_serve_as_a_simple_but_powerful_reminder;not_meant_to_prescribe_how_much_food_one_should_eat;distributes_five_food_groups_within_every_meal;is_an_improvement_of_the_food_pyramid} to help consumers choose healthy foods to make a meal and will, therefore, be displayed on food packaging.

The diagram {is_not_meant_to_prescribe_how_much_food_one_should_eat;intends_to_serve_as_a_simple_but_powerful_reminder;distributes_five_food_groups_within_every_meal;is_an_improvement_of_the_food_pyramid} because our calorie and nutrient needs vary according to our age and physical activity. It is there to suggest what the proportion of food groups in a healthy meal should be like. Along with the diagram, there is a website that contains resources with more specific information on healthy eating patterns and nutrient needs according to one’s food preferences and lifestyle.

The MyPlate icon {distributes_five_food_groups_within_every_meal;intends_to_serve_as_a_simple_but_powerful_reminder;not_meant_to_prescribe_how_much_food_one_should_eat;is_an_improvement_of_the_food_pyramid} icon  in the following way. It emphasizes vegetables and grains, each covering around 30% of the plate. Fruit and protein foods take 20% each, along with an accompanying small circle for dairy products.

Experts say MyPlate {is_an_improvement_of_the_food_pyramid;distributes_five_food_groups_within_every_meal;intends_to_serve_as_a_simple_but_powerful_reminder;not_meant_to_prescribe_how_much_food_one_should_eat} which was too abstract and bewildering for some people. There were even disputes whether grains or vegetables and fruit should be at the very bottom of the pyramid. This new diagram sets everything anew and is simple, understandable, and practical.