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5 Tips to "Get Your Plate in Shape" — an article on the Smart Living Network
March 2, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 5 Faves: 0

5 Tips to "Get Your Plate in Shape"


In honor of National Nutrition Month and in spirit of this year’s theme, Get Your Plate in Shape, I would like to help you do just that. By filling your plate with nutrient-rich choices such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins you will be making sure that you are serving up a meal that is surely aligned with your goals to eat right.

But first, if you haven't read the first portion of this blog, I encourage you to check out the introduction to this year's theme and learn how to transform your plate into a helpful, healthy eating tool. Learn more, here

Okay, ready to go? Here are five simple suggestions that your entire family can use to Get Your Plate in Shape:

  1. Vary Your Veggies. Fill the largest section with vegetables, whether fresh, frozen or canned. This step alone will help you to get more nutrition into your day, while squeezing out added calories because vegetables are generally lower in calories than other foods.
  2. Fill Up On Fruit. In a smaller section, add your fruit. Fresh, frozen, and canned are all nutritious, just look for those that do not come with added sugars by reading the ingredient list of your frozen fruits or by choosing canned fruits that are packed in their own juice instead of syrup.
  3. Make at Least Half Your Grains Whole. In the remaining larger section grab your grains. Whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and kasha are all delicious ways to boost your whole grain intake.
  4. Go Lean With Protein. Next, in the final smaller section dish up your protein and be sure to go lean! Leaner protein choices include lean meats, turkey breast, skinless chicken, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
  5. Get Your Calcium Rich Foods. To complete the meal, add in refreshing glass of milk or other dairy product. Just be certain to opt for the fat-free or low-fat versions of milk, yogurt, or cheese. If you are lactose intolerant, go for a non-dairy alternative such as fortified soy milk or almond milk.

For more specific tips on how to Get Your Plate in Shape for National Nutrition Month and throughout the year, visit

Now it’s your turn! What are you doing to eat right? Do you have any simple tips and tricks to keep you on the path toward a healthier, happier future? 

More from Health Coach Jessica Corwin MPH RDN Others Are Reading


  • I love this Jessica. Eating healthy is sometimes as simple as making your plate look prettier. I know a well balanced plate has many colors. Bright leafy greens, vibrant reds of tomatoes and peppers, rich purples of cabbage and eggplant can make any plate a work of art.

  • #2 seems to be a reoccurring theme. From your blog, to diets I've heard about on weight-loss shows, to a friend's info about her Weight Watchers plan, I keep hearing that filling up on good, fresh fruit is amazing for getting nutrients and working toward weight-management goals. My current goal is to eat 100 pieces of fruit at work, so it's good to hear that I'm on the right track!

  • Sue, your description sounds absolutely delicious! And you are absolutely right, plate presentation plays a huge role in satisfaction from my perspective.

    Dave, what a nutritious goal! Be sure to mix in some veggies in there as well! A healthy goal is to aim for 3 servings of fruit per day and even more veggies :) Keep it up!

  • Thanks for a great blog, Jessica!

    Well, what I am trying to do to eat better is actually sitting down and eating breakfast with protein at home. Usually it will be peanut butter and a bagel or oatmeal and peanut butter (the latter breakfast idea, I totally stole from Laura! :P )

    But Sometimes this just doesn't happen...and I've only been successful this morning, last Thursday and Friday. So I am hoping to start up a habit, but we'll see!

  • What a great goal, Bri! A steaming bowl of old fashioned or steel cut oats with peanut butter is one of my morning faves as well. I can sense your frustration though. Is your challenge more the aspect of eating something in the morning or sitting down to eat it at home?

    If it is the latter, are you able to enjoy your breakfast seated at work? This is primarily how I savor the flavor of my breakfast at work because I am simply not yet hungry when I first wake up around 6am, though by the time I make it into the office and settle in, I am more than ready for a heart breakfast (around 8am). If this is something you can do at work, you can either keep a canister of oats and a jar of PB at your desk (add a dollup of PB to your oats in a mug with a splash of hot water and enjoy) or pack a small glass container to bring into work with the oats and PB ready to go. Then all you will need is that hot water either from a hot water faucet or you can use a microwave if you have one.

    Another great breakfast on the go is a hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit or yogurt with a handful of trailmix. This is very easy for the woman (or man) on the run :)

    What do you think? Hoping you find something that will work with your lifestyle!

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