Creating the Perfect Healthy Plate
CREATING THE PERFECT PLATE!
To enjoy the most nutritious, healthy meal, make ½ your plate fruits and vegetables + ¼ whole grains + ¼ lean proteins and a serving of dairy!
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES- Eat the rainbow! Try to include at least 2 colors of plant based foods at each meal for a boost of nutritional quality! Examples include orange carrots, pineapple, mangos and green grapes!
WHOLE GRAINS Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the words “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains.
LEAN PROTEIN Choose protein foods, such as lean beef and pork, or chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week, try seafood like tuna, trout or salmon as the protein of your plate
DAIRY Pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. Soymilk, almond milk or cashew milk can be substituted or include fat-free or low-fat yogurt in your meal.
Avoid extra fat- Using heavy dipping sauces or greasy sandwich spreads will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. Try other options, like a sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese, spreading hummus or avocado on sandwiches and using a squeeze of lemon or light dressing on salads.
Consider Time - Without time constraints, savor your food. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Be mindful. Eating very quickly may cause you to eat too much. With a short lunch time- make sure you prepare and pack quick, healthy, high quality foods like fruit smoothies.
Use a smaller plate - Use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.
Try new foods and add fun shapes- Keep it interesting by picking out new foods you’ve never tried before! Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends or find them online. Try using sandwich cutters or cookie cutters to make exciting shapes like a heart shaped sandwich or star pineapple pieces to keep your kids entertained as well!
Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way- Indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish like Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit, frozen fruit over or a hot baked apple topped with cinnamon!