In January, the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services released the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans. There were no real surprises–Americans should cut down on sodium, added sugar and solid fat. In addition, they are recommending that we start filling half our plates with fruits and veggies.
Half your plate–I like this idea! It makes it really simple to ensure you and your family get the recommended servings. You might remember how, in an earlier blog, I wrote about how I was having difficulty figuring out how much I should be consuming and then making sure I got all those servings in each day. Well, now I can use this half-a-plate concept and it eliminates the guesswork. For a busy mom like me, it sure beats measuring out cups and serving sizes individually! Just start with a non-produce item (like some pasta or a grilled chicken breast) and then fill the other half of the plate with colorful fruits and veggies.
Here’s a recent example of how I used this concept when developing a meal for my family:
- I cut up some veggies into large chunks (white potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and butternut squash) then mixed them with some olive oil and a little salt and pepper, placed them in a roasting pan and put them in the oven at 425 degrees for 40 minutes (stirring after 20 minutes).
- I then placed some Italian turkey sausage on top of the veggies and put back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes (turning the sausages half way through).
- In the meantime, I fixed some fresh asparagus (steamed them) and then put a little reduced calorie spread and salt/pepper on them.
- On each plate I placed one or two sausages and then filled the remainder of the plate with veggies–the roasted mixture and the asparagus.
It was so easy and my family really enjoyed it! I’m linking to our Fruits & Veggies More Matters website "Half-Your-Plate" concept page. Here you can find even more information that will make it simple for you to meet your recommended servings.