Plate Model for Healthy Eating

A plate format is a simple way to learn about healthy eating and to plan a balanced diet. The plate model teaches us how much space on a plate each food should occupy. It is easy to achieve a balanced meal if one can understand how much and what to eat. Anyone can use the plate format.

A typical breakfast plate

Starch/ Cereal – One-fourth plate bread, grain, or starchy food. Starchy foods include bread, rolls, rice, crackers, idli, dosa, appam, upma, poha and other cooked grains; cereal and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and legumes (cooked dry beans, dry peas, and lentils).

Milk – One glass of milk. Those who do not drink milk, can substitute with yogourt or calcium-fortified soy milk

Fruit – One serving of fruit. This could be a medium fresh fruit, or 1/2 cup cooked fruit, or 1/2 cup fruit juice, or 1/4 cup dried fruit.

An optional one-fourth of the plate could be meat or protein (such as an egg).

A typical lunch / dinner meal plate would be:

  • Starch/Cereals – like rice, whole wheat roti, whole wheat bread, other grains, starchy foods like potatoes, or grain in one-fourth of the plate.
  • Protein- Meat or pulses or other forms of protein in one-fourth of the plate.
  • Vegetables – Green leafy and other vegetables in half of the plate. (One- fourth may be cooked vegetables and one-fourth may be salad).
  • Fruit – One small piece of fruit outside of the plate.
  • Milk or Milk product- 1 small cup of milk or curd outside of the plate.