My Family Plate’s Way to Build A Healthy Plate
by Nurse Kimberly
If someone would have asked me how to build a healthy plate eight years ago, I would not have known what to say. Before I went to college I had no clue about the basics of nutrition. I didn’t even know what my body needed in order to be healthy. Somewhere along the line the education about the fundamentals of nutrition has gotten lost in this country. In fact, most schools do not have nutrition included in their curriculum.
What’s healthy and what’s not healthy can become extremely confusing both because of lack of education and all of the false advertising and marketing in this country. Busy households where both parents are working and don’t have the spare time to teach about nutrition or even cook is another obstacle for families. And it also doesn’t help that the fad diets we see advertised everywhere place focus on counting calories, fat, carbohydrates, and how many servings of fruits and veggies we are eating. This is not a practical way to live for the rest of your life, and you shouldn’t have to.
So how can you make sure you and your family are getting the proper nutrition at each meal without worrying about all of the things just mentioned? It really is simple. It’s not just simple it is the way pediatric dieticians recommend children should eat. If you can remember the following three steps and teach them to your child, you will be guaranteed your family’s bodies are getting all they need.
So here we go: ABCD Heatlhy™
Step 1. Divide your plate into 4 sections.
Step 2. All 4 sections on your plate will represent one of the following.
(The image at the top of this page is a great example.)
A = Protein (lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, seeds)
B = Vegetable (add color- squash, spinach, peppers, corn)
C = Whole Grain (oats, cereal, bread, pasta, rice)
D = Fruit (apples, melons, bananas, kiwi, grapes, etc.)
Step 3. Add a glass of water or milk with all 3 meals. Three cups of skim or soy milk everyday is the healthy way!
If you can remember to use My Family Plate ABCD Healthy™ at each meal you will be set! My Family Plate gives some of our quick and simple recipes away at FACEBOOK that allow you to practice the technique. Also, on our website the FREE Family Guide provides meal plans and grocery lists that give you even more A-B-C-D Heatlhy™ My Family Plate meals. Kids pick up on this technique really fast. The second graders I am working with right now are having a blast. It’s simple, fun, and easy to remember.
If you come up with any tasty or interesting meals using the My Family Plate ABCD Healthy™ technique be sure to post them below and share with other families on Facebook.