What is the MyPlate App, and is it worth it to download? Full review and screenshots of the Start Simple with MyPlate App!
Does anyone else feel that everything is being made into an app? Even if there is already a website, they make an app as well. Don’t get me wrong I love some apps, and find them very useful, but others fall short.
So when it comes to Choose My Plate, I have used the website before and found it easy to navigate and had useful information. When I learned about the Choose My Plate app, I wanted to see what it was all about.
If it has the same info as the website just on an app, and does it have anything extra like allowing you to track your diet. To find out I tested out the app for a week and will share what it includes and what I thought of it.
The MyPlate app, and what’s on it?
The app has a few parts, the main one is a goals dashboard with goals you set for each food group.
Some nutrition goals you can select from are,
- ‘have a protein food as a snack’,
- ‘try a new whole grain’,
- ‘have dark green vegetables’ etc.
Once you select your goals you can check them off once you’ve completed them. You can change your goals for different days and go back to early dates and check them off.
The next part of the app is MyPlate 101. It has information on each food group, example foods within the groups, health benefits of food group, serving sizes, and estimated servings needs based on age and sex. There is also a link that will take you to their website for more information.
Connected with the goals is a badges section, it keeps track of your progress and tells you when you met certain goals, or reported for a certain amount of days.
The challenge section has challenges every few months with goals similar to the badges. There were no challenges while I tested the app out.
Few other details of the app,
- there is a link for a quiz about how well you follow Choose MyPlate and it saves your answers so you can measure your progress each time you take the quiz.
- There is also a favorite tips section, which I could not figure out how to save anything to.
- The last section of the app is a link to the MyPlate Plan website, here you can enter information and receive your estimated calorie needs.
How I liked using the app
As a big fan of food tracking (I use myFitnesspal), I wasn’t sure what the MyPlate app would offer that I didn’t already have.
But, I liked that this app isn’t about tracking everything you’re eating but rather focusing on what you might be trying to change. For this experiment, one of my goals was to include a protein food for breakfast.
I didn’t have to worry about the serving size, or what brand of yogurt I ate, it was a simply: did I or didn’t I eat this food group.
Because of this, it was easy to mark off if I had completed the goal, which I liked. I didn’t have to think back on my breakfast and wonder if it was ½ c or ¾ c of yogurt I had.
Another part of the app I liked was the serving size information. It was helpful to review when I was preparing a meal, such as learning how many servings my salad was.
I didn’t care much about earning the badges and didn’t find it very motivating as it was unclear what was needed to meet the goals for some, such as the fruit badge.
Do I need to reach my fruit goal for a week? A month? Who knows.
I liked taking the quiz and seeing what areas of Choose MyPlate I am consistent with and which areas need more effort.
I struggled checking off my goals, but I did not have notifications turned on for the whole week. The biggest negative for me is the app’s lack of ability to review progress. I love the health app for Apple, you can see how many miles you walked today, last week, last month and so on.
I was hoping for a similar feature, but there is not one. On this app, you can go back to individual days, but there isn’t a way to zoom out to see how many days last week you met your goal, you would have to go through each day of the week and add them up yourself.
Would I recommend it?
Based on someone’s goals I think this app can be helpful. If you are wanting reminders and accountability to meet your goal the app is somewhat helpful, you’ll get reminders, and can mark off your completed goals each day.
The MyPlate info was a nice pocket guide to have for serving sizes and items in food groups. I think the app is helpful for someone starting to follow Choose MyPlate and needs some guidance.
I don’t think there is enough on the app to stay engaged to be used for a longer period of time. If you’re someone that likes reviewing data and measuring everything this app is not for you. Based on what you’re looking for, the Choose MyPlate app may be useful in helping you reach your goals.