First lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack introduced the federal goverment's new food icon,MyPlate, as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. Officials said MyPlate-- which emphasizes fruit, vegetables, grain, protein and dairy groups -- will replaceMyPyramidas the government's primary food group symbol for consumers.

USDA will encourage consumers to visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for supporting information and dietary "how-to" resources.

In conjunction with the new icon launch, officials reiterated the2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which debuted in January 2011. Those guidelines advise consumers to ...

... avoid over-sized portions;
... make half the plate fruit and vegetables
... switch to fat-free or lowfat milk
... emphasize whole grains for at least half of all grain intake
... compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals and choose foods with lower numbers.

Among those processors commenting on the new MyPlate initiative wasPinnacle Foods, the Mountain Lakes, N.J., parent to Birds Eye frozen vegetables.

"At Birds Eye, we want to help consumers unlock the wonder of vegetables," said Rodrigo Troni, vice president of marketing for Birds Eye, who was present at the unveiling of the new food icon. "Our many products make it easier for families to fill half their plates with vegetables. Birds Eye is committed to giving consumers a great variety of delicious, nutritious vegetables in the frozen aisle."

As part of its mission, Troni said Birds Eye will actively support MyPlate to help make the vegetable goal more easily attainable for Americans. The company also said it is continuing its "Feed Kids Better" initiative to benefit Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign™.  The program helps provide children with access to vegetables to eat them more often. Birds Eye and Share Our Strength are connecting children with the nutritious food they need and love in order to lead healthy, active lives.