While the USDA MyPlate is fairly easy to understand, putting together a meal that meets the MyPlate criteria is less easy. So, to help you achieve your weight management goals, our experts have come up with a daily menu plan that meets the MyPlate dietary guidelines, and yet simple, tasty and interesting. Read on.
If we divide our total calorie requirements by the three meals we eat in a day, it would mean that breakfast should take care of at least 33% of our daily calorie requirement and should ideally contain whole grains, fats, fruit, proteins and vegetables. Sounds impossible? When we got down to it, we found that combining foods to achieve this balance was not that difficult at all. So here is our MyPlate breakfast menu from our daily menu plan:
- Oats: ½ Cup Rolled
- 1 Cup low fat Milk (or Soy milk)
- 1 ounce chopped roasted, unsalted nuts
- ¼ cup Dried fruit of your choice
Place all ingredients in a large microwave dish, mix, and cook in microwave for about 5 minutes. When done, give it another minute or so before removing from the microwave.
Add a teaspoonful of honey and a cup of any freshly chopped fruit of your choice.
Serve with ½ cup of your favorite beverage.
We created an interesting three course lunch consisting of an appetizer, a main course and dessert.
Appetizer: Without removing from the shells, boil 1 cup frozen Edamame for about 10 minutes. These can be eaten like peanuts.
For the main course, we recommend the ever popular Chick Pea Salad with Cumin and Mint.
For dessert, we recommend low fat yogurt with freshly chopped fruit.
Beverage: Iced tea.
For dinner we created this lovely three course meal consisting of an appetizer, main course and dessert. It is a meal that is low in calories but high in nutrition including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Enjoy.
Appetizer: Crudites with Spinach dip and yogurt
Main Course: 1 serving of your favorite fish – grilled in a mustard crust served with 1 Cup sautéed fresh greens in 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil or your favorite heart-friendly oil.
Dessert: A mouth watering strawberry Granita
Most people assume that a ‘healthy diet’ cannot be tasty. We feel the difference between a tasty healthy meal and an un-tasty healthy meal is imagination (or lack of it).
Make your meals visually attractive and different by adding color or variety or variations in taste. Unless absolutely unavoidable, use fresh vegetables and fruit. Eating healthy does not mean depriving yourself of taste; it merely means eating the right food in the right quantities.
The USDA MyPlate seeks to correct imbalances in our diet – it tells us the kind of food and proportions of each that should be in our plate. The details are left to our imagination. Feel free to experiment, to mix and match and make your meals delicious and nutritive.