Editor’s note
You can read this publication on this page, download the PDF, or order printed copies.
See the companion publication N1043, Build a Healthy Plate Handout.

Build a healthy plate poster sharing tips for selecting the right balance of foods.

Sarah Wood
Assistant Extension Professor, Department of Health Sciences

Tammy Roberts
Nutrition and Health Extension Specialist

This poster highlights key messages of the dietary guidelines, including eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat dairy products; eating less sugar, fat, salt/sodium; varying protein choices; and balancing calories for weight maintenance. Using food labels to make better food choices and being physically active are also addressed.

The printed poster is 36-by-24 inches, printed in color on high-gloss poster stock, and rolled and shipped in a tube.

See poster content below.

Build a Healthy Plate

Healthy plate: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.

Fruits and vegetables

A banana.

  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Brighten your plate with color – go for variety.
  • Fruit doesn’t have to go on your plate. It can be a great after-dinner dessert!


  • Choose low-fat options when possible.
  • Watch out for added sugars in flavored milks and yogurts.
  • Try lactose-free or soy milk as an alternative if you have trouble with dairy.
  • Choose water, unsweetened tea, or low-fat milk over sugary drinks.

Corn on the cob.


  • Make at least half your grains whole.
  • Keep portion sizes to ¼ of your plate.

Protein foods

  • Vary your protein choices.
  • Choose fish or seafood twice a week.
  • Keep meat portions small and lean.
  • Don’t forget plant foods like beans, peas, soy, nuts, and seeds!

Choose foods and beverages with less added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium


  • Added sugars to <50 grams a day
  • Saturated fat to <22 grams a day
  • Sodium to <2,300 milligrams a day

Half a kiwi.


Snacks are important too! Try to include at least two food groups when you have a snack.

Funded in part by USDA SNAP.
For more information, call MU Extension’s Show Me Nutrition line at 1-888-515-0016.
Running out of money for food? Contact your local food stamp office or go online to