planning a nutritious meal

Good nutrition doesn’t just happen.  You must plan for it.  The concerned homemaker does not wait until meal time to start thinking about what food she will prepare for her family. She takes the time beforehand and learns all that she can about nutrition.  She applies that information to her preparation of food for her family.   She delights in planning meals that are nutritious and tasty.  By beginning now, while you are young at practicing making well balanced meals, will enable you to be proficient as you get older. 

How do you go about planning a balanced meal?  You need to choose foods that give your family the proper number of servings of the various food groups each day.  At the same time don’t overload fats and sugars.

This gives you a generalized idea of what you should serve your family.  The majority of the plate is to be vegetables or fruit.  The rest of the plate is split between your protein and whole grains.   Keep sauces, condiments, and extras to a minimum.

The government sets recommendations as to how much we should be eating of each different food group.  That changes often as new nutrition information is discovered.  We can get a generalized guideline of how much portion sizes of each food we are to have as young woman.  This is for an adult woman not a child



4 servings per day

1 cup raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)

1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables

1/2 cup vegetable juice


4 servings per day

1 medium fruit (about the size of a baseball)

1/4 cup dried fruit

1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit

1/2 cup fruit juice

Whole grains

6 servings per day

1 slice bread

1 oz dry cereal (check nutrition label for cup measurements of different products)

1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal (about the size of a baseball)


3 servings per day

3 oz cooked meat (about the size of a computer mouse)

3 oz grilled fish (about the size of a checkbook)


2.5 servings per day

1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk

1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt

1 and 1/2 oz fat-free or low-fat cheese (about the size of 6 stacked dice)