“We’re always trying to infuse more healthy options as a choice, but we don’t impose it on people,” he said. “That’s really our strategy: to have a balance.”
A number of versions of the plates are available commercially, and they’re often used as teaching tools, said Dr. Robert Post, acting executive director at the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. He did not know of other schools that have been serving food on the plates like UNH but said many are using the image in banners and posters.
And since the USDA launched its “My Plate on Campus” initiative in the spring, he said, more than 800 students in all 50 states and nearly a dozen other countries have signed up to become ambassadors who encourage healthy eating at their schools.
The Wildcat plates are manufactured by a New Hampshire company. With USDA permission, UNH has copyrighted its modified design and hopes to license it to other high schools and colleges that could add their own logos to the plates and use them in their dining halls.