First Lady Michelle Obama took another great stride in her work to improve the health of our country yesterday, Feb. 26, when she paired with Pinterest to promote healthy recipes that align with the guidelines for the USDA's MyPlate initiative. Her goal is to use the popular site to make healthy recipes easier to find and display the recipes in a more visually appealing way.
To do this, she used her non-profit organization, the Partnership for a Healthier America, to create a Pinterest My Plate Recipes page where partners like Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, Food Network and Time, Inc have flagged recipes that meet the USDA guidelines. These recipes come from a variety of popular cooking websites including Cooking Light, Epicurious, Eating Well, and Every Day with Rachel Ray.
“As a mom, I know how challenging it can be to think of new meal ideas that your kids will like and that will be good for them,” the first lady said in a statement during her press release yesterday. “This partnership takes the guess work out of finding healthier recipes and gives parents the information and the tools they need to make healthy choices for their families every day.”
The My Plate initiative began in the summer of 2011, ending the era of pyramid-based daily nutrition diagrams. Its concept was to be a more practically-designed method that Americans could use to visually judge what should be on their plates on a daily basis and in what portion. According to the USDA's MyPlate, one half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, while whole grains and lean meats should occupy the other half. There is also a place for low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk, yogurt or cheese.
Through her work with the Let's Move Campaign and the Partnership for a Healthier America, Michelle Obama is addressing one of the pressing public health concerns in America: how to decrease the prevalence of obesity both in children and adults. She is also very sensitive to the fact that nutrition and exercise should be about health and wellness rather than about size and is cautious to promote positive body image with both of her own daughters.
This collaboration with Pinterest and a public health initiative is promising because it can potentially reach a broad and diverse population who are seeking to find healthier recipes for themselves and their children. Already interest is being shown in the Pinterest page, with 901 pins and over 24,000 followers to date!