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MyPyramid is modified to include a gradient that shows how ‘nutrient density’ decreases as food choices move upward from the base. Two horizontal lines help visually define choices from ‘base, middle or tip’ of the pyramid. Text descriptors define “base” foods as ‘minimally processed, fresh, whole and highest in fiber, vitamins and minerals’; “middle” foods as ‘refined, processed, with some added fat, sugar, and salt’; and “tip” foods as ‘highly processed, highest in fat, sugar and salt, and lowest in fiber.

Washington State University Extension.
Historical Document
Funding Source
United States Department of Agriculture. Food Stamp Nutrition Education. Washington State University Extension.
Free Material
Cost ($)
  • Pilot Tested
Evaluation Information

In the spring of 2006, 64 FSNE and EFNEP staff assessed this handout for usability. Findings showed that this tool is very helpful for all staff to use as a teaching tool Staff perception included that when using this tool, clients; understanding of MyPyramid concepts were good or very good when using this tool for youth 5-12 grade, adults and older adults. Current version of the handout includes suggestions and recommendations from the staff survey and peer review.

SNAP-Ed Connection Comments

This resource includes many different teaching tools including a handout, posters and mini-posters, sample self-assessment activities, training notes and handouts, and a PowerPoint presentation.
The main teaching tool is the handout, which features MyPyramid divided into three levels: the tip, the middle and the base. On the back, there is a chart that lists specific food choices according to their appropriate food group and the level of MyPyramid to which they belong. Also listed on the back are tips for choosing foods from MyPyramid and key nutrients from each food group. Included is a poster showing the handout information and six posters that highlight a specific food group. Also, there are suggested classroom activities for use with the poster in the “About Build on a Healthy Base Teaching Tools” handout.
The “How Am I Doing?” worksheets ask participants a series of questions about what they are eating, and allow them to list steps to improve their food choices and physical activity level.
The PowerPoint presentation reviews the MyPyramid basics and each of the food groups. Also, it explains how to personalize MyPyramid and includes breaks for skill building activities. “Portion distortion” and evolving serving standards are discussed, by comparing photos of food portions from 20 years ago to food portions today.

Review date
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