Wish there was an easy way to build a healthy lunch or dinner?
Want to feel confident that your meal is nutritious, satisfying, and good for you?
We’ve got you covered with the Brook Healthy Plate.
 

The Brook Healthy Plate method utilizes a “plate model” to help us think about each meal in a simple and visual way. Using it to build meals takes the guesswork out of good nutrition.

  

Here are some food items from each category to get your creative juices flowing:

Veggies

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Leafy greens (salad, kale, chard, spinach),
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber & many more!

Proteins

  • Tofu & tempeh
  • Poultry
  • Lean meats
  • Fish & seafood
  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Beans (also contain carbs)
  • Lentils (also contain carbs)

Carbs

  • Whole grain (ex: brown rice, quinoa, oats)
  • Bread & pasta (100% whole grain)
  • Winter squash
  • Potatoes & sweet potatoes
  • Beans (also contain protein)
  • Lentils (also contain protein)
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Fruit

Healthy Fats

  • Nuts & seeds
  • Avocado
  • Plant oils (olive, avocado, coconut)
  • Olives
  • Nut & seed butters

Follow these steps to build your balanced meal:

You did it! You’re ready to enjoy your Brook Healthy Plate.

Need some inspiration? Here are three examples:

So, can a meal fit into the Brook Healthy Plate model without perfectly fitting into the sections shown? Of course! The healthy plate model is a visual guide, not a rule-book! It simply helps us visualize proportions of food types in order to create balance and consistency, without requiring us to break out the measuring cups or scales!

Takeaways

Focus on veggies

Feature low-carb veggies as the main component of your plate. Get creative! Eat more than one type of veggie in one meal! Play with spices, seasonings, and cooking methods. Tips for boosting your intake here and recipes for veggies that don’t suck here.

Pick your protein

Filling ¼ of your plate with high protein foods makes sure that you get enough protein, but not too much at the expense of other nutrients. Protein helps with satiety, blood sugar regulation, and maintaining muscle, but our bodies can only use so much at a time, and the rest goes to waste. On average, Americans get about twice the amount of protein they need.

Choose your carbs

Carbs should fill up to ¼ of the plate. Choose carbs that contain fiber to help with digestion, satiety, and blood sugar regulation.

Include healthy fats

Certain fats are absolutely essential for good health. Don’t fear them! Find out more about incorporating these into your diet here.

Better beverages

Unsweetened or calorie-free drinks are best. And no, we don’t mean diet soda 😉  Try water, sparkling water, unsweetened tea, etc. We have a blog post about reducing sugary drinks here.

Keep an eye on portion size

Use a 8 to 10 inch plate, and don’t heap the food! This creates automatic portion control when following the Brook Healthy Plate method.

Can you make 3 of your meals this week look like the Brook Healthy Plate? Complete this challenge by preparing, eating, and logging these meals in your Brook app. Meals you already make and love can likely be turned into a Brook Healthy Plate if you just alter the proportions or swap out a couple ingredients.

Need ideas, inspiration, or recipes? Chat with us in the Expert channel for more.

Chat soon 💬

Reviewed by Kelsea Hoover, MS, RDN​

on May 6, 2020. Kelsea is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Brook Experts.