How can I create a balanced, nutritious meal?
For a nutritious meal, what would be the correct percentages of dairy, protein, vegetables and carbohydrates be for a single meal?
This is a good question, and fortunately there is no need to be so
exact for a nutritious, balanced meal. You may have seen the eatwell
plate – our National Food Guide. It represents the different food groups
that make up a balanced diet in healthy proportions (33 per cent fruit
and vegetables, 33 per cent breads, cereals, potatoes etc. (include some
wholegrains), 15 per cent dairy, 12 per cent protein e.g. meat, fish,
eggs, pulses and 7 per cent fatty and sugary foods (although these
aren’t essential) – but this is for your overall diet, not a single
meal. (see www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eatwell-plate.aspx for
more details). The USA has recently introduced ‘My Plate’
(www.choosemyplate.gov) - which does look at meal guidance and
recommends filling half (50 per cent) your plate with vegetables and
fruit, and splitting the other between protein foods, and breads,
cereals, breads, pasta etc. – plus a serving of low fat milk dairy foods
with the meal or as a snack.