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 USDA Food Patterns

The USDA Food Patterns were developed to help individuals carry out Dietary Guidelines recommendations. They identify daily amounts of foods, in nutrient-dense forms, to eat from five major food groups and their subgroups. The patterns also include an allowance for oils and limits on the maximum number of calories that should be consumed from solid fats and added sugars (empty calories).

Recommended amounts and limits in the USDA Food Patterns at 12 calorie levels, ranging from 1,000 calories to 3,200 calories, are shown in the "USDA Food Patterns" document, below. Patterns at 1,000, 1,200, and 1,400 calorie levels meet the nutritional needs of children ages 2 to 8 years. Patterns at 1,600 calories and above meet needs for adults and children ages 9 years and older. Individuals should follow a pattern that meets their estimated calorie needs shown in the "Estimated Calorie Needs per Day" table, below.



Available Resources:
 
    USDA Food Patterns
    Estimated calorie needs per day
    Sample meal patterns for the USDA Food Pattern at the 2000 calorie level
    Technical Tables for the 2010 USDA Food Patterns:
      Item clusters, percent of consumption, and representative foods, for all USDA Food Patterns food groups or subgroups
      Nutrient profiles for food groups and subgroups in USDA Food Patterns
      Nutrients in 2010 USDA Food Patterns at all calorie levels
      Comparison of nutrient content of each 2010 USDA Food Pattern to nutritional goals for that pattern
      Nutrients in 2010 USDA Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Food Patterns at all calorie levels
      Comparison of nutrient content of each 2010 USDA Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Food Pattern to nutritional goals for that pattern
      Nutrients in 2010 USDA Vegan Food Patterns at all calorie levels
      Comparison of nutrient content of each 2010 USDA Vegan Food Pattern to nutritional goals for that pattern
   

Technical Tables for Food Patterns based on "Typical" rather than "Nutrient-Dense" Food Choices:

      Item clusters, percent of consumption, and representative foods, for "Typical" Food Patterns
      Nutrient profiles for food groups and subgroups in "Typical" Food Patterns
      Nutrients in "Typical" Food Patterns at all calorie levels
      Comparison of nutrient content of each "Typical" Food Pattern to nutritional goals for that pattern
   

Supplement to the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior on Development of the MyPyramid Food Guidance System


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Last Modified: 08/15/2013