Font Size
A
A
A

Sample Plate Format


Use these pictures to help you visualize your next balanced meal.

Sample lunch or dinner plate

Picture of a sample lunch or dinner plate format

A standard lunch or dinner in a plate format includes:

  • One-half of a 9-inch plate filled with non-starchy vegetables: foods like broccoli, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, peppers, and salad greens. You can go back for seconds on these foods.
  • One-fourth of the plate with fish, poultry, or lean meat: for example, baked or grilled fish or skinless chicken. This will be about the size of the palm of your hand.
  • The last one-fourth of your plate has the bread, rice, or pasta—the starchy foods like beans, potatoes, biscuits, squash, cereals, crackers, and tortillas. This will be about the size of half of a closed fist—about a half cup.
  • An 8-oz glass of fat-free or low-fat milk.
  • Add a small serving of fresh fruit or ½ cup of canned fruit. Or you can add a roll or slice of bread.

Sample breakfast plate

Picture of a sample breakfast plate format

For breakfast, the concept is similar.

  • One-fourth of the plate is a bread, starch, or grain.
  • One-fourth of the plate is a protein.
  • Include an 8-oz glass of fat-free or low-fat milk.
  • Add a small serving of fresh fruit or ½ cup of canned fruit.
ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Last RevisedJuly 1, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.





Medical Dictionary