Planning menus for optimum health involves eating whole foods for the wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and eating all three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) in appropriate portions for steady blood sugar. We refer to the main meal components as protein, whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
We have provided some menus, but also want to give you the tools to plan your own. In this section you will find guidelines including specific ideas for meals and snacks. Use the links for more information about these components, specific food choices and preparation methods for foods used less commonly.
That you understand enough about the food categories so you can easily make substitutions to fit your preferences (i.e. we may list broccoli in a suggested meal, but you might choose to substitute cauliflower or green beans).
That you get a sense of what a balanced plate looks like at each meal. Lunch without a vegetable? Something's missing. No fruit today? Add it after dinner. The HSPH Healthy Eating Plate is also a good guideline for what foods you should be putting on your plate.
That you learn how to prepare foods that are commonly avoided because many people don't know what to do with them (for example, Tofu, Tempeh, Greens, Fish).
Here are some meal ideas, for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. We've also included suggestions of foods you can use to alternate, to satisfy your personal preferences.