A healthy meal starts with more vegetables and fruits and smaller portions of protein and grains. Think about how you can adjust the portions on your plate to get more of what you need without too many calories. And don’t forget dairy—make it the beverage with your meal or add fat-free or low-fat dairy products to your plate.
- 1. Make half your plate veggies and fruits. Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients and may help to promote good health. Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables.
- 2. Choose protein foods, such as lean beef and pork, or chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week, try to make seafood the protein on your plate.
- 3. Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the words “100% whole grain” or “100% wholewheat” on the label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains.
- 4. Pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. Don’t drink milk? Try soy milk as your beverage or include fat-free or low-fat yogurt in your meal.
- 5. Avoid extra fat. Using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories. For example, avoid topping brocolli with cheese sauce. Try other options, like a sprinkling of low-fat parmesan or lemon.
- 6. Take your time. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Eating very quickly may cause you to eat too much.
- 7. Use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.
- 8. Eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check the nutrition info. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.
- 9. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. Indulge in a naturally sweet dish—fruit! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.