Learn how to build a healthy, balanced plate. Meals should contain multiple components— not just simple carbs and proteins, but a balance of nutrients. A simple method for building a healthy, balanced plate is to make:

  • ½ the plate non-starchy vegetables (e.g. greens, eggplant, carrots, cucumbers, celery, beets)
  • ¼ the plate whole grain (e.g. quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, bulgur, teff, oats, sorghum)
  •  or starchy vegetable (e.g. potatoes, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes)
  • ¼ the plate beans, lentils, or other plant-based protein
  • Fruit may be used as a side or a snack
  • Add a small amount of a healthy fat (e.g. ¼ of an small-medium avocado, 1-2 tbsp of seeds, 2 tbsp- ¼ cup nuts).

*Mixed dishes won’t be so easy to eyeball, but the idea is there should always be more non-starchy veggies in the dish than anything else. If you are having a mixed dish with very few non-starchy veggies, then make sure to take a smaller portion of the mixed dish and load up on a veggie side. Breakfast may look a little different, with more fruit and less veggies— but don’t limit yourself to veggies only at lunch and dinner. See more at Kaiser Permanente (PDF):  http://goo.gl/Pfmx8S