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Konnecting with Kris Blog

Konnecting with Kris Blog

Connect with Saline County FCS agent Kris Boulton.

Building a Healthy Plate

Tip 1 Build a Healthy Plate

Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Try some of these options.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

  • Eat red, orange, and dark-green vegetables, such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, in main and side dishes.
  • Eat fruit, vegetables, or unsalted nuts as snacks—they are nature’s original fast foods. Switch to skim or 1% milk.
  • They have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories.
  • Try calcium-fortified soy products as an alternative to dairy foods.

Make at least half your grains whole.

  • Choose 100% wholegrain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta.
  • Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods. Vary your protein food choices.
  • Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
  • Eat beans, which are a natural source of fiber and protein.
  • Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean.

Tip 2 Cut back Foods High in solid Fats, added Sugars, and Salt

Eat fewer foods that are high in solid fats.

  • Make major sources of saturated fats—such as cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza, cheese, sausages, and hot dogs—occasional choices, not everyday foods.
  • Select lean cuts of meats or poultry and fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food

Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.

  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. There are about 10 packets of sugar in a 12-ounce can of soda. Select fruit for dessert.
  • Eat sugary desserts less often. Choose 100% fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks.

Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy - it all adds up. 

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals—and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Add spices or herbs to season food without adding salt.

Tip 3 Eat the Right number of Calories for Your Size

  • Enjoy your food but eat less.
  • Get your personal daily calorie limit at and keep that number in mind when deciding what to eat.
  • Think before you eat…is it worth the calories?
  • Avoid over-sized portions. Use a smaller plate, bowl, and glass. Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full.
  • Cook more often at home, where you are in control of what’s in your food.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly—limit to 1 drink a day for women or to 2 drinks a day for men.

Tip 4 Be Physically Active - your way

  • Pick activities that you like and start by doing what you can, at least ten minutes at a time. Every bit adds up, and the health benefits increase as you spend more time being active.

Build a Healthy Plate