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Judi asked...

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?

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The answer

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.

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