Simplicity of MyPlate inspired me to have a great exercise with my daughter. She loved the project. The result was messy but it was a nice/gentle reinforcement of the fact that at least half of her plate should be salad/veggies. And now it is displayed on the wall so we can refer to it anytime.
You will need:
Together with your child, cut out specific portions of each ingredient on a plate according to MyPlate 2011. Then draw a picture of an item that belongs to a respective category (ex: carrot onto veggie portion), and glue it all together.
We changed our MyPlate a bit to reflect our family’s preferences. We replaced milk with water because my daughter and I are sensitive to milk. Also, milk is becoming more and more controversial subject. We also added oils to the plate to start implanting the concept in my toddler that there are essential oils that our bodies need and don’t produce.
You could go further with this exercise. Pre-K or older kids in school can go into details defining whole grains, have samples of different kinds, feel their texture, glue them on paper, etc. Then you can move on to talk about important relationship between water and health. Of course, no need to be scientific. My daughter loves when I tell her stories, any stories :) So, one of the stories I tell her is how water travels into her mouth, goes into each organ in her body (you can show where the heart, lungs, etc are) providing food. She seems to be captivated all the time! :)
Update: October 26, 2012
I just came back from the conference in NYC and was happy to see the new Integrative Nutrition
Plate issued by my school. This plate perfectly represents what's necessary to sustain happy healthy well being: