How To Eat A Balanced Diet
Preparing meals at home is the best way to create a balanced diet for you and your family.
“But how do I create a well-balanced diet?” you ask.
Well, it’s easy if you’re organized and have a meal plan. Here's what you need to know.
Four Food Groups
First, divide the food you eat into four groups. This is helpful when choosing what to eat.
The four food groups are: fruits and vegetables, grains, protein and dairy or their alternatives.
In your plan aim to get at least 3 of those 4 food groups into every meal. If you can get 4, it’s even better.
For example, a healthy breakfast could be a bowl of fruit with some scrambled eggs and grated cheddar cheese over brown toast. For lunch, maybe try a tuna sandwich with brown bread, add some carrot sticks and a small glass of milk. Then dinner might be a simple veggie and chicken stir-fry over brown rice with yogurt for dessert.
These are all balanced meals because they contain foods from each of the four groups.
Fruits And Veggies, Grains, Protein, Dairy or Their Alternatives
Fruits and veggies are the most important food group. This is because they’re filled with all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to thrive. They’re also packed with fibre, which helps to keep the digestive system working like a well-oiled machine.
The next biggest group is grains followed by protein and then dairy or their alternatives.
It’s common to plan a meal around a big piece of protein and serve it with a few vegetables and grains. However, for healthy eating, it’s best to turn that on its head and increase the fruits, vegetable and grains while decreasing the protein.
Another tip when choosing the vegetables, is to pay attention to their colours.
Fruits and veggies are all very colourful. Yet each of these colours have different vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. So I suggest trying to eat at least 5 different colours of fruits and veggies in one day.
For grains, think of the colour brown. The goal here is to increase the amount of fabulous fibre in our diets and one of the easiest ways to do that is to always choose the brown option.
So whenever possible, try to serve brown rice, brown couscous, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread rather than white, white rice, pasta and so on. It becomes second nature once you get into the habit.
Serving side dishes with meals is another fantastic way to increase fruits, veggies, and grains into your balanced diet. In fact, there’s an entire column in the Recipes to the Rescue's weekly meal planner notepads devoted only for side dishes.
Increase Healthy Food SlowlyNow I know it’s tough to change your diet, especially if you’re feeding a family who really loves meat. If you suddenly start serving more veggies and less meat, you’ll have a revolt!
Also, adding more fibre into your diet suddenly will create havoc to your digestive system.
So plan accordingly, and slowly add more veggies and whole grain into your diets. This could take a few weeks or even months. I did this with my family and I can tell you it does work.
But, the trick was I didn’t tell them what I was doing. I just did it. And over time, they got used to the extra servings of veggies and grains. Simple!
It’s easy to eat and feed your families a balanced diet if you’re organized and have a meal plan. Follow this simple blueprint of good health and you’ll be on the road to healthy eating in no time.