5 Elements of a Healthy Plate

5 Elements of a Healthy Plate

March is National Nutrition Month where everyone is encouraged to learn how to make informed food choices and develop healthy eating habits. On your plate, you want to include healthy foods from all the food groups. According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are 5 elements that should be included on your plate:

Number 1. Fruits
The fruit group can consist of any fruits that are fresh, canned, frozen or dried. Fruits are great natural sources of important nutrients such as fiber, Vitamin C and potassium which are vital for your health. There are plenty of options to choose from such as apples, bananas, berries, plums, peaches, grapes oranges and more!

Number 2. Vegetables
The vegetable group can be eaten raw or cooked and can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried. Vegetables are great natural sources of important nutrients such as Vitamin A, folic acid and potassium. Vegetables come in a wide range of colors and types ranging from spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, and different kinds of beans (ie. lima, soy and kidney).

Number 3. Grains
The grain food group can consists of food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal or another cereal grains. Grains are great sources of nutrients such as Vitamin B, iron and fiber. The most common grains include bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, oatmeal and my personal favorite- popcorn.

Number 4. Protein
Protein can consist of animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs and seafood. Other plant-based proteins can include beans, peas and nuts. Protein foods are a great source of nutrients such as Vitamin B, zinc and magnesium.

Number 5. Dairy
The dairy food group can include items such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Diary products are important to have strong and healthy bones, and to get nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D. The most dairy products contain a sugar called lactose. For those who have a lactose allergy or sensitivity, there are other plant-based milk products such as almond, rice coconut or oat. There are also other foods that have calcium and Vitamin D such as leafy greens, canned fish and soy products.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, I encourage you to try and include these five elements onto your plate each and every day. I also encourage you to include at least one new healthy recipe each week. From there, try to increase the number of healthy meals you prepare.

Looking for recipe ideas so that you can eat a variety of nutritious foods everyday? Check out my Wellness Recipe Guides that are available to download here.

Let’s make developing healthy eating habits something that can last not only for the month, but for a lifetime!

Find out more!

To learn more about Dance to Wellness, group fitness classes or other services offered, please contact us to discover your options.