Building a Health Plate

Getting enough nutrients from your meals to meet your needs should be a top priority. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. Planning your meals will help you avoid making unhealthy choices based on conveince. If you are going to any of the dining halls, you can do so beforehand by visiting http://dining1.rutgers.edu/foodpro/location.asp which provides the daily menu, portion size and nutritional content of what’s being offered. Here are some helpful guidelines:

Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. 

  • Eat red, orange and dark-green vegtables, such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, in main and side dishes.
  • Eat fruit, vegteables, or unsalted nuts as snacks- they are nature’s original fast foods!

Switch to skim or 1% milk.

  • They have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutritients such as whole milk, but less fat and calories.
  • A good alternative to dairy (especially if you are lactose intolerant or wish not to consume dairy products) is calcium-fortified soy products.

Make at least half your grains whole.

  • Choose 100% wholegrain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta when available.
  • If possible, check the ingredients list on food packages to identify whole-grain foods.

Vary your protein food choices.

  • Try to keep a variety. Some options include seafood, beans, meat and poultry.

For more information and guidelines please visit: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/