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How to Create a Healthy Plate

The importance of healthy and tasty family dinners

By Nabeel AhmedPublished 4 months ago 5 min read

Article Outline:

1. Introduction

• The importance of healthy and tasty family dinners

• Introducing the plate method as a solution

2. Understanding the healthy plate

• Using different plate sizes for children and adults

• Dividing the plate into sections

• Types of vegetables (starchy and non-starchy)

3. Building a healthy plate

• Guidelines for people with diabetes

• Filling half the plate with non-starchy vegetables

• Allocating 1/4 of the plate for whole grains or starches

• Adding lean protein in the remaining quarter

4. Managing starches and portion control

• The temptation of tortillas and bread

• Opting for smaller portions of other starches

5. Completing the meal

• Choosing the right beverage options

• Impact of milk on blood sugar levels

• Alternatives like water with lemon or lime

6. Applying the plate method to different meals

• Example: Vegetable beef soup

• Using low-sodium broth and healthy vegetables

• Portioning lean beef and adding bread on the side

7. Conclusion


What Can You Make Your Family for Dinner That's Healthy and Tastes Good?

You want to prepare a delicious and healthy dinner for your family, but sometimes it can be challenging to find the right balance. Fortunately, there's a simple approach that can guide you in creating nutritious meals that appeal to everyone: the plate method. Whether you're looking for a well-rounded dinner or catering to specific dietary needs, this healthy eating plan is designed to work for everybody, including people with diabetes. With the plate method, making nutritious and delicious meals for your family will be a snap.

Understanding the Healthy Plate

The concept of the healthy plate revolves around controlling serving sizes without the need for meticulous counting. The first step is to select an appropriately sized plate. A 7-inch plate is suitable for children, while adults should opt for a 9-inch plate. Once you have the right plate, it's time to divide it strategically to ensure a balanced meal.

Building a Healthy Plate

The plate method offers clear guidelines for constructing a healthy plate that supports your well-being. If you or a family member has diabetes, it's particularly important to follow these guidelines. Start by filling half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables. These include options like zucchini, jicama, cucumbers, carrots, and salads. For individuals with diabetes, non-starchy vegetables should fill half of their plate.

The next step involves allocating 1/4 of the plate for whole grains or starches such as brown rice, corn, beans, or whole wheat pasta. These choices provide essential nutrients and fiber. Finally, the remaining quarter of the plate should consist of lean protein options like tofu, grilled fish, or chicken. This combination ensures a well-balanced meal that fuels the body with essential nutrients.

Managing Starches and Portion Control

While it's tempting to add a side of tortilla or bread to your meal, it's crucial to exercise portion control. Instead of indulging in large portions of additional starches, serve yourself a smaller portion of the other starches already on your plate. By managing your starch intake, you can enjoy a variety of flavors while maintaining a healthy balance.

Completing the Meal

To complete your family dinner, consider the beverage options. Opt for unsweetened coffee, tea, or a glass of milk. However, it's important to note that consuming 8 ounces of milk affects your blood sugar, similar to consuming an extra tortilla or slice of bread. Alternatively, you can choose water with a squeeze of lemon or lime for a refreshing and hydrating accompaniment. Remember, the choice is yours, and you have many options as long as you follow these healthy guidelines.

Applying the Plate Method to Different Meals

You might be wondering how to apply the plate method to dishes like vegetable beef soup or other meals. The concept remains the same. For example, if you're preparing vegetable beef soup, start by filling your pot with low-sodium broth and an abundance of healthy vegetables such as corn, cabbage, zucchini, carrots, and onions. Add a suitable portion of lean beef, ensuring it aligns with the 1/4 proportion on each plate. If desired, complement the meal with your favorite type of bread on the side. By following this approach, you can create a well-balanced and satisfying meal.


Preparing a healthy and delicious dinner for your family doesn't have to be a daunting task. By implementing the plate method, you can ensure that your meals are not only nutritious but also visually appealing and satisfying. Remember to allocate space for non-starchy vegetables, whole grains or starches, and lean protein. Manage starches and portion sizes, and choose suitable beverages to accompany the meal. With the plate method as your guide, you can effortlessly create meals that please the taste buds while supporting your family's overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can the plate method benefit individuals without dietary restrictions? Absolutely! The plate method is a healthy eating approach suitable for everyone, regardless of specific dietary needs.

2. How can I make the plate method work for picky eaters in my family? Consider involving your family in the meal planning process. Encourage them to choose their preferred vegetables, grains, and proteins within the plate method's guidelines.

3. Is it essential to strictly adhere to the suggested plate proportions? While the plate method offers a useful framework, it's not necessary to measure everything precisely. Use it as a guideline to create balanced meals.

4. Can I adjust the plate method for a vegetarian or vegan diet? Certainly! The plate method is flexible and can be modified to accommodate different dietary preferences. Replace animal proteins with plant-based alternatives and adjust the proportions accordingly.

5. Are there any specific tips for making the plate method work for children? For children, it's important to choose age-appropriate foods and portion sizes. Engage them in the process and make mealtimes fun by offering a variety of colorful and tasty options.

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