Healthy Meal Planning Made Simple with MyPlate

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If you’ve ever been trying to decide what to make for dinner and thought to yourself, what veggies should I serve with that? The MyPlate method for planning healthy meals is going to make a lot of sense to you!

The MyPlate concept is simple.

  • Divide your plate into four sections.
  • Half your plate should be Fruits and veggies
  • 1/4 of your plate should be protein
  • 1/4 of your plate should be whole grains.
The USDA choose myplate icon

There is no reason to make it more complicated. If you follow the MyPlate method when you are planning your own meals, or meals for your family, you can be confident that you are getting enough nutrients, in the proper balance.

I have a printable meal planner that I refer to when I’m sitting down to plan my meals, using all the food groups.

health beet portion planner printable worksheet

Start your meal planning with the protein

I will always start my decision about what to plan for dinner with the protein first. This generally makes it easier to choose the side dishes. I’ll pick proteins based on what is on sale for the week, or what I have in my freezer. So, If I want to use ground beef, I’ll start there.

After choosing the protein, I’ll decide what sounds good for the week. It could be tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers, etc.

Second, select the grains

I’ll move onto the grains and decide which grains go best with my protein. If I chose the tacos, I’ll add tortillas. If I chose spaghetti, we’ll get some pasta. If we are having hamburgers, I’ll add buns!

Finally, select fruits and veggies

While technically, MyPlate separates the fruits and veggies, it’s just a general concept for the day. You CAN choose (and I get this question a lot!) to eat half your plate fruit for breakfast, and then half your plate veggies for lunch and dinner. This is what I do! In fact, it just makes sense.

So, after I have my protein and grains, if I chose tacos for dinner, I’ll add lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, etc. as my veggies. If we’re having spaghetti, usually a nice green salad is a great option! If we are eating hamburgers, we could make some homemade sweet potato fries, or pile the mushrooms and lettuce on the burger itself.

As a bonus for dinner, you could always add berries and cream for dessert and get some fruit in there as well.

Beyond Dinner for MyPlate Meal Planning

You can go through this same process for breakfast and lunch as well. While I don’t always plan meals for the family for breakfast and lunch, I do plan my own meals. I would usually have something like

Breakfast:

  • Protein: Eggs
  • Grains: Toast
  • Fruit: Bananas and strawberries
  • Dairy: mozzarella cheese
strawberries bananas eggs and toast on myplate

Lunch:

  • Protein: Some leftover chicken, chopped plus light mayo
  • Grains: a roll to eat it on!
  • Veggies: Cucumbers and carrots
  • Fruit: raspberries (or whatever is in season)
chicken salad bun raspberries and cucumbers on myplate

Follow these simple steps for healthy meal planning using MyPlate and you can be confident you are eating a healthy diet!

Here’s some more dinner ideas, using MyPlate!

Dinner: chicken, rice, peppers, snowpeas, and raspberries

myplate minfulness meal

Dinner: Beef stroganoff with ground beef, mushrooms, pasta, blueberries and broccoli patties.

beef stroganoff and broccoli patties
Recipe for broccoli patties here!
https://www.instagram.com/p/B9rVWkzB5QK/

Don’t forget to grab the meal plan printable template here. Start planning your own healthy meals I also have a 1 day meal plan template if you just want to practice (or give your kids a little nutrition homework assignment!

healthy meal planning made simple with myplate

9 Comments

  1. Hi Amy three of us a work are going on a diet and exercise program. Before I researched the three meal plan I had decided this was what I was going to do. However the only difference was to have the fruit between meals. I love you planning and the plate into 4 sections. I have started the my healthy eating program today. I plan to lose 10 kgs by July and the another 10 kgs by December. I have your plan and plate to refer to and I hope this will keep me on track.

    1. I’m so excitedΒ for you Sharon! thanks for sharing your goals with me. I’m confident you’ll be successful!Β  Please keep me updated on your progress, and don’t hesitateΒ to reach out if you need a little motivation!Β 

  2. Just got MyPlate very excited to give it a try. Pretty sure i’m not eating enough, I eat healthy just not enough food. I’m age 65 and just cant seem to lose weight. I love your recipes and your website. Thank you

  3. I have just found your website. I have been struggling with weight loss. I have been exercising 6 days a week and seeing very little progress. I thought I was eating three meals a day until I saw your samples. I realized I was not eating enough at breakfast and lunch. No wonder I was craving sweets at night. I’m going to try this approach for a month and will update you soon. Thank you for making easy sense out of diet issues for me.

  4. Hi Amy,
    In a world that offers mostly confusion, your sane approach to weight loss is refreshing. And it made me remember how thin I was when I ate this way. Alas, my departure from a 3 meals a day structure led to disordered eating, dieting and binging. Thank you for the reminder!

    Jane

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