The EatWell Plate
A healthy meal starts with more fruits and vegetables and smaller portions of protein and grains. The EatWell Plate was developed by Bermuda’s Department of Health as a guide for building healthy meals.
“The goal of the Bermuda Dietary Guidelines is to increase knowledge of the healthy options that exist and can be easily incorporated into a healthier lifestyle for all Bermudians ages two years and older. The guidelines are a general visual representation of the variety and proportion of food needed to maintain health.”
Three plate sizes are recommended:
SMALL: 5 to 8-inch – Women and Some Older Adults
MEDIUM: 8-inch – Children, Teenage Girls, Active Women & Most Men
LARGE: 10-inch – Teenage Boys & Active Men
TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME: Trying to make the change to a healthy diet doesn’t happen overnight. Plan to make small changes gradually, like substituting spices and herbs for salt, or use olive oil for cooking instead of butter or margarine.
Tips for building a healthy plate
1. Make half your plate veggies and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients and may help to promote good health. Include a “rainbow” of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet every day!
2. Add lean protein
Choose protein foods, such as lean pork and beef, chicken, turkey, beans or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
3. Include whole grains
Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Read the labels and look for the words “100% whole grain, or 100% whole wheat. Whole grains provide more nutrients and fiber than refined grains.
4. Don’t forget the dairy
Pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other nutrients as whole milk, but with less fat and calories.
5. Avoid extra fat
Skip the cheese sauce and gravy. Using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to an otherwise healthy meal.
6. Take your time
Savor your food. Eat slowly, and enjoy the tastes and textures. Remember, it can take 20-30 minutes for your body to signal you that you’ve eaten enough.
7. Use a smaller plate
Using a smaller plate at mealtimes helps with portion control.
8. Take control of your food
Eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. When eating out, check nutrition information and try to choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.
9. Try new foods
Keep your food interesting by picking out foods you’ve never tried before. Have you ever eaten kohlrabi, quinoa, or edamame? How about ethnic foods? Try them!
10. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way.
Indulge in nature’s bounty of sweet, delicious fruits. There are lots of healthy recipes for creative, light desserts online.