So here we are with some good education about the Plate Method now in our minds, but now to conquer it in our lives!
When we meal plan, things can get pretty complicated! How do we ever stay in budget (a leader for a new series coming soon), stay in the pyramid guides and make things our families like? The Plate Method is here to make some of these things easy for us.
This is how you can do things really simply-
Make a menu on a sheet of paper for a week with BLD on three separate lines underneath the day. Then I go through and pick one from each category using my placemat. For example for Breakfast on Monday, I would choose
- 1/2 c. strawberries
- 1 c. tomato juice
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 2 scrambled eggs
- 3/4 c. yogurt
That’s it! Then once your menu is filled for the week, you need to add up how much you need to buy of each item. (Are you thinking a spreadsheet?!?!) I think SO! I would throw this all into one in an instant. Anyway, so if I had yogurt for three mornings, I would need (3/4+3/4+3/4)= 2 1/4 cups yogurt.
Then, I need to multiply that by how many people would be eating that meal (my husband and I and A, but for right now, let’s just say my hubby and myself). That would be (2 1/4 * 2) = 4 1/2 cups of yogurt for the week. This is for teens and adults. If I was feeding my teenage brother, we would have to count his eating as 2 people’s servings (he is an athlete to the highest degree).
Now, for children and toddlers. A good rule of thumb is about three quarters to half of what you eat per day. So that would just make my family’s multiplier 2.5 (1- hubby, 1-me, 1/2-A).
This also makes planning meals for company really easy! Just multiply!
Here are some other helps. I am seeing if I can get some better copies of these for you to link to and print out-
Here are some helps for planning your menu- make sure that you are keeping things LOW fat! Cooking your veggies in bacon fat is not allowed :)
So we have come to the end of this series- I hope you have learned some. I find this information most useful when I am eating out. But it truly is good for anywhere. If you are served at a friend’s home and the meat is 3/4 the plate, just eat a 1/4 and then get some more salad to cover the other 2 quarters :)
The last things
- as you try this, I think you will be amazed at how much food this really is! Most nights we cannot eat all on our plates! It goes into a Gladware container for a snack another time.
- It is hard to shop for more than a week in advance because you are eating a lot of produce – and it may spoil.
- During the winter it can be hard to get fresh fruits and veggie – and expensive. So there are other ways you can get these – freeze or can some from summer, pre-canned, frozen, buying in season, and watching for sales can help.
- DON’T give up! It can be frustrating to get it all down and get the hang of it. I find that I like to make recipes that use items from multiple groups. In cases like this, I just try to imagine the ratio of uncooked items on a plate and figure how much would be a serving in the dish. For example, a chicken pot pie has chicken, veggies, milk, and some bread. I wouldn’t count the bread really. In the recipe I might double the veggies to get a good ratio and then for how many people I am multiplying with, just make that much meat servings in the whole dish.
We are so lucky to have the ability to create our own meals! We can change recipes and make them healthier, we can make things within our budget, and we can make them taste better! How blessed we are! And how blessed we are to have enlightened people to think of and produce guidelines that help us be healthy. Props to them!
Here’s to Reshaping Our Plates!