MyPlate on Alexa
MyPlate is now available as an Alexa skill! Get MyPlate nutrition information straight to your home on your Amazon Alexa smart speaker, or on your phone or tablet via the free Amazon Alexa app (App Store or Google Play).
The MyPlate Alexa skill provides science-based food and nutrition tips for almost everyone* -- parents and caregivers of babies starting at 4 months of age, toddlers, preschoolers, kids, tweens, teens, young adults, adults, and older adults! *Tips specific to pregnancy and while breastfeeding/ lacatating will be coming soon.
To get started, simply say “Alexa, enable the MyPlate skill” to your Alexa device, or click here and hit "Enable." Once enabled, simply say "Alexa, open MyPlate" to your device or on the app.
Questions and Answers
Alexa skills are similar to smartphone apps -- they provide additional information for the user at no extra cost. You simply search for them or say a certain phrase like, “Alexa, enable the MyPlate skill” and they are added to your account.
MyPlate on Alexa is intended for everyone from parents and caregivers of babies starting at 4 months old through older adults. In the near future, nutrition information will be available for pregnancy and while breastfeeding/ lactating. Until then, you can access the pregnancy and breastfeeding section of the MyPlate.gov website.
Since your baby is still too young to eat foods, you will hear advice on when to start considering foods for your baby. In the meantime, you can get nutrition advice for yourself or other members of your family.
Nutrition requirements differ among the different stages of life. Think about what a growing kid or a teenager would need versus an older adult. Advice on amounts and types of food that are best for health in each of these groups therefore differ.
For children under 2 years old, the science shows that what and how to feed babies and toddlers is specific to ages in small categories -- 0-4 months, 4-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-24 months. Therefore, to deliver the best advice, the baby's date of birth is needed.
To change your age or your child’s date of birth, simple say, "Alexa, update my age," "Alexa, change my age," or "Alexa, update my child's age," "Alexa, help," etc., to make changes. Alexa generally understands basic commands.
At this time, you can only hear tips for one person at a time. However, you can change back and forth between by using the updating instructions above. This update will be coming soon, though!
To access the MyPlate Alexa skill, you need either an Alexa device (Echo, Dot, etc.) or the free Amazon Alexa app downloaded onto your smartphone. The Amazon Alexa app is a separate app from the Amazon.com app. For more information on Amazon Alexa, click here.
If you have an Alexa device (Echo, Dot, etc.), simple say “Alexa, enable the MyPlate skill” to your device. This will open up the MyPlate skill and you will be prompted to get started. Once enabled, simply say "Alexa, open MyPlate" to your device.
Option 2: To access MyPlate on your smartphone, download the free Amazon Alexa app to your phone from the App Store or Google Play. Then enable MyPlate on the Alexa app by simply opening the Alexa app and saying “Alexa, enable the MyPlate skill,” or click here to go directly to the MyPlate Alexa skill and hit the "Enable" button. Once enabled, simply say "Alexa, open MyPlate" on the app.
Once you have enabled MyPlate on Alexa on your Alexa device or on the free Alexa smartphone app, Alexa will ask for your age or your child's date of birth if he or she is under 2 years old. Alexa will now provide you with age-specific information.
After that, you can access MyPlate information by saying one of the following:
“Alexa, open MyPlate.”
“Alexa, ask MyPlate for a tip.”
MyPlate on Alexa provides food and nutrition tips based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Here are some examples of what you can hear depending on your age or the age of your young child:
Age group: 4-5 months
Topic: Developmental Readiness
Tip: “Is your baby's head still a little wobbly? Wait until they have head and neck control before starting them on any solid foods.”
Age group: 12-24 months
Topic: Added sugars
Tip: “To limit sugar and increase nutrients, offer your toddler plain yogurt. Try adding a mashed banana and a dash of cinnamon. Any mashed or pureed fruit will add extra nutrients and extra flavor.”
Age group: 19-30 years
Topic: Healthy Dietary Patterns
Tip: “For breakfast, enjoy a whole-grain-based hot or cold cereal. Consider trying whole-grain puffs or flakes that are new to you. You might discover a new favorite!”
Age group: 31-59 years
Tip: “Did you know that grocery stores rotate their sales? So, buying what is on sale is a great way to save money and also get variety. This is especially good for frozen and canned items which can be stored for a longer time at home.”
Age group: 60+ years
Topic: Protein and Vitamin B12
Tip: “Enjoy a healthy snack of raw veggies and hummus. Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made from blended chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Hummus is rich in protein, dietary fiber, and several important minerals.”
Please note: MyPlate on Alexa does not provide medical advice, and is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Call your doctor to receive medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please dial your local emergency response phone number.
When you use MyPlate on Alexa, you will be asked to talk to Alexa. This voice input is sent to Amazon where it’s used to understand how the skill should respond.
For Alexa to give appropriate information, some information may be saved. This data is only connected to your Alexa-User ID but it is never connected or associated with your name or any other personal information. In the case of MyPlate on Alexa, your age or your child’s date of birth is saved so the skill can provide nutritional information specific to you or your child, and also so Alexa will make updates as you or your child get older.
Information regarding end users (random ID number and your age or your child’s age) is provided to USDA by Amazon. No data is directly collected from members of the public by USDA.
In the future, USDA hopes to expand to other smart speaker devices.
In the near future, nutrition information will be available for pregnancy and while breastfeeding/ lactating. Until then, you can access the pregnancy and breastfeeding section of the MyPlate.gov website.