The Create-a-Plate game: An interactive way to learn nutritious eating

It can be challenging to create balanced, nutritious meals consistently. Understanding how to eat balanced meals is important for everyone’s health and well-being, but especially for those who have—or are at risk for—medical problems, such as diabetes or cancer.

So the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities at Baylor College of Medicine, which provides community-based programs to help medically underserved populations, recently launched the Create-a-Plate game.

Using your plate as a guide

The game explains that one of the simplest ways to stay on track and eat balanced meals is to use your plate as a guide.Plate

Using a graphic of a 10-inch plate, the game first shows users how to effectively divide your plate:

  • Protein = 1/4
  • Carbohydrates or starchy vegetables = 1/4
  • Non-starchy vegetables = 1/2

You can also add:

  • A small piece of fruit
  • Six ounces of low-fat yogurt or eight ounces of low-fat milk

Benefits of the Create-a-Plate game

This online game, which is bright and colorful, is valuable to a number of audiences—including both English- and Spanish-speaking individuals. It’s interactive, so it’s compelling and helpful for both children and adults.

Dr. Luis Rustveld, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at BCM, says that the plate method is helpful for anyone, but particularly helpful for patients with diabetes who are learning to manage what they eat. “Using the plate method forces you to stick to the right portions,” he says.

After the game explains the rules for a properly portioned plate, users are able to practice what they’ve learned by moving food choices to a plate. Once you’ve created three proper plates, you’ve won the game!

Adapted from the Sugar, Heart and Life Program, a Department of Family and Community Medicine educational program for individuals with diabetes, the Create-a-Plate game has been tailored for a more general audience—patients, health professionals, as well as anyone who could benefit from learning more about balanced, nutritious eating.

Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, director of the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities, says that the Create-a-Plate game is immensely valuable because it provides an interactive way to learn.

The Create-A-Plate game is now available online for free. Try creating your own plate today and test your knowledge about balanced eating.

-By Jordan Magaziner

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