Figuring out what to cook and serve can be daunting for anyone, even to the professionals. When you have the right tool, serving healthy meals can soon become something you enjoy. Try using Choose MyPlate as your meal planner cheat sheet, so-to-speak. Just by following a few simple thoughts from a pro and our plate, you’ll be serving the healthiest meals in no time.
One of the most effective ways to healthier meals is planning. We love our healthy plate because of it’s foolproof colors and photo ideas for easy planning. Bonus: your kids will love to plan, too!
- Fruits —Try to choose a variety that includes fruits you love and even something new. Choosing what’s in season is best for a cost effective trip to the grocery store. Choose fruits such as apples, bananas and oranges for the perfect fruit to take on the go.
- Veggies —Vegetables are where you can always find an abundance of colors. Vegetables can be served raw, cooked and even blended. Some great options to always have on hand that are perfect in a variety of ways are spinach, cauliflower, and red bell peppers. Did you know that frozen cauliflower is amazing in smoothies?
- Grains —Choose more whole grain foods over white and overly processed. This is assurance you are getting enough fiber, healthy fats, protein and other vital nutrients that are removed once a whole grain has been refined and processed. Adding a variety of grains is just as important as a variety of fruits and veggies. If you normally serve brown rice, try quinoa or if you normally serve white pasta, give whole grain pasta a try. Cooked grains store really well in sealed containers in the refrigerator. A great way to get dinner on the table quick is to heat precooked grains, leftover chicken and some frozen veggies.
- Protein —Lean meats, poultry and seafood are great options to start with. Beans, legumes, nuts and soy are great, too. Including plant sources of protein on your plate will add to the nutrient density served at each meal.
So grab a plate and begin your healthy meal planning.