The Nutrition Source at Harvard School of Public Health recommends the shape of a food plate opposed to a food pyramid. The USDA replaced its 2005 MyPyramid with a 2011 MyPlate model. The plate contains four sections, for protein, grains, fruit and vegetables, and a small side circle of dairy.
Nutritionists believe the pyramid is too complicated for young children, and the plate model is easier to understand. The plate diagram shows that a healthy diet should include all food groups, including: protein, grains, less fruit, more vegetables and limited dairy consumption.
The protein can come from a variety of sources, such as nuts, lean meats, and fish. Dairy contains a significant amount of calcium and vitamin D, which the body needs in certain quantities every day, but calcium is also present in foods such as tofu, dark green vegetables, and enriched non-dairy milks. Red meat, salt, and sugary foods can also be part of a healthy diet, but only when consumed sparingly.