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First Lady To Unveil Pinterest Page Flagging Healthy Recipes

1:04 PM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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It's going to be a lot easier to tell if a recipe is pretty nutritious or a diet disaster.

First lady Michelle Obama is unveiling a plan today that will flag thousands of healthy recipes that align with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's guidance for healthy eating and the MyPlate icon (choosemyplate.gov).

Five media companies - Condé Nast Magazines, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, Food Network and Time Inc. with 18 cooking websites, from AllRecipes.com to FoodNetwork.com to GoodHousekeeping.com - are working with the first lady's Let's Move! (letsmove.gov) campaign to identify the MyPlate-worthy recipes. More than 3,000 recipes will be featured on a new Pinterest page.

"This partnership takes the guesswork out of finding healthy recipes and gives parents the information and the tools they need to make healthy choices for their families every day," Mrs. Obama said in a statement.

The recipes may be for an entrée or a side dish that meets at least one part of the MyPlate criteria, such as having a lean protein, whole grain or fruit or vegetable, says Sam Kass, assistant chef and senior policy adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives at the White House.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture "is also partnering in this effort to ensure that the recipes align with the dietary guidelines and have limited added sugar and saturated fat and are low in sodium," he says.

The MyPlate icon on recipes "is a simple tool and a tool that can be incredibly powerful for families," Kass says. The Pinterest page will help families share recipes they like, he says. "Cooking a new dish is a risk for parents, because if the kids don't like it, you have a problem on your hands."

Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian in Boston and author of MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better, calls the MyPlate icon "the program in its simplest form - a visual reminder of what to put on your plate.

"The overall MyPlate program suggests that you enjoy your food without eating too many calories, eat a variety of protein-rich foods, make half of your plate fruits and vegetables (but not fried or slathered in butter), make sure half of the grains you consume are whole grains, drink fat-free or low-fat 1% milk, use healthy oils such as canola and olive oil."

The first lady is celebrating the third anniversary of her "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity. About a third of kids and teens are overweight or obese, putting them at a greater risk of developing a host of debilitating and costly diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The publications that are participating in the MyPlate recipe program include Allrecipes.com; Better Homes & Gardens (bhg.com); CookingLight.com; CountryLiving.com; Delish.com; Diabeticliving.com; EatingWell.com; Epicurious.com; Everyday With Rachael Ray (rachaelraymag.com); FamilyCircle.com; FoodNetwork.com; GoodHousekeeping.com; MyRecipes.com; Parents.com; RealSimple.com; Redbook.com; Recipe.com; Woman'sDay.com. Collectively, those websites attracted 150 million page views in January.

Written By: Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY

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