A balanced plate is a simple and easy way to make nutritional choices that follow Canada’s Food Guide recommendations and principles. The balanced plate meal planning tool is suitable for the whole family and can be adapted gradually to your baby’s needs once he’s celebrated his first birthday.
By choosing to serve a balanced plate as often as possible, every family member can meet their nutritional needs according to their individual appetites.
What’s on a balanced plate? The balanced plate is divided into three equal sections:
- ⅓ grains (bread, pasta, rice, couscous, barley, etc. – It’s best to choose whole grain products)
- ⅓ meat and meat alternatives (poultry, meat, fish, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts or tofu)
- ⅓ vegetables (colourful and varied)
Add a piece of your favourite fruit and a serving of milk or milk alternatives (soy beverage, cheese or yogurt, for example) to complete your meal!
Here’s a simple tip that will make it easier to put together a balanced plate: At the grocery store, add a few foods from each of the three balanced plate food groups to your shopping cart. Back home, you can simply choose one of these foods to balance your meal in a snap!
A few examples of foods that can quickly balance your balanced plate:
- Grains: crackers, pita, buns, English muffins
- Meat and meat alternatives: canned beans or lentils, nuts, canned fish or seafood
- Vegetables: mixed raw vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli, bell peppers), frozen vegetables
Need some recipe ideas to help balance your balanced plate? No problem! You’ll find many tasty suggestions in our recipe section. Bon appétit!