A healthy meal starts with more vegetables and fruits and smaller portions of protein and grains. Think about adjusting the portions on the plate to get more of what a body needs without too many calories. I’ll give you 9 tips to build a perfect meal:
- Make half the 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 such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
- Add lean protein: choose protein foods, such as lean beef and pork, or chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
- Include whole grains: look for the words “100 percent whole grain” or “100 percent whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains.
- Avoid extra fat: using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. For example, steamed broccoli is great, but avoid topping it with cheese sauce. Try other options, like a sprinkling of spices like pepper or garlic or squeeze a lemon.
- Take your time: savor the food. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Be mindful. Eating very quickly may cause people to eat too much.
- Use a smaller plate: use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish the entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.
- Take control of your food: eat at home more often to know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.
- Try new foods: keep it interesting by picking out new foods you’ve never tried before, like: mango, lentils, or kale. You may find a new favorite. Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends or find them online.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way: indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish – fruit. Serve a fresh fruit cocktail and for a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.