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The Secret to Better Food Choices? Divvy Up Your Cart, Literally.

Portion-controlled plates have steered servings back into balance at mealtime (we love Ed and Ann-Marie StephensPrecise Portions line). But what about at the supermarket, where the shopping cart is deep and less-than-healthy distractions are tenfold?

Brian Wansink and his colleagues have a solution: Portion control your cart. They tested partitioned carts, with baskets divided by colorful inserts or strips of tape, in U.S. and Canadian supermarkets. The difference was drastic, with shoppers spending 76% more on fruits and vegetables (the largest bins) compared to all other items. Dividers could also be used for natural versus processed foods.

Wansink says this is a win-win for everyone: Supermarkets move more perishable, profitable produce faster without losing overall sales, and customers make healthier choices. Just like the pre-portioned plate, partitioned carts would soon make smart shopping choices second nature, a huge step in getting our nation healthy.

Ready to build a healthier, more balanced plate? Check out these MyPlate-inspired recipes, delicious dinners that keep portion (and proportion) in mind.

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