Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

5 Balanced Dinner Menus to Fill Your MyPlate Icon

With the recent announcement that the food pyramid will be replaced by the new MyPlate icon, Americans are more aware than ever that it’s time to start eating their vegetables.

While the plate icon offers a visual, user-friendly guide to help people make better food choices, some of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, like eating more fish, beans and whole grains, are not addressed.

Before you start cooking dinners based on MyPlate, keep the size of your plate in mind and check your portion sizes. According to the Mayo Clinic, reasonable portion sizes include:

  • One serving of protein should be three to six ounces (three for women, six for men) and about the size of a deck of playing cards.
  • One serving of whole grains should be the equivalent of one slice of bread, 1/3 cup brown rice or 1/2 cup whole-wheat pasta.
  • One serving of dairy is equivalent to an 8 ounce glass of milk or 1 ounce cheese (about the size of four dice).
  • One serving of fruit and vegetables should be approximately 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw.

To help make dinnertime easier, we’ve compiled five easy dinner menus featuring a protein, a vegetable and a whole grain option on your plate.

If You Like Chicken:

Protein: Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts from Amanda’s Cookin’
Vegetable: Curried Baby Carrots
Fruit: Fruit Kabobs
Whole Grain: Mixed Grain & Dried Fruit Salad
from The Perfect Pantry
Dairy: 1 cup fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt

If You Love Red Meat:

Protein: Grilled Steak
Vegetable: Cherry Tomato Salad

Fruit: Five Fruit Salad
Whole Grain: Lemon Pepper Brown Rice
Dairy: Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
from David Lebovitz

If You Love Seafood:

Protein: Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Vegetable: Roasted Cauliflower
Fruit: Orange-Baked Peaches
Whole Grain: Rice Salad with Almonds & Raisins
Dairy (Dessert): Blueberry Shake

If You’re a Vegetarian:

Protein: Dave’s Teriyaki Tofu
Vegetable: Asian Garden Vegetable Soup from A Veggie Venture
Whole Grain: 1/2 cup brown rice
Fruit (Dessert): Grilled Bananas from Dine & Dish
Dairy (Dessert): 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt (atop grilled bananas)

June 14th, 2011

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