Balanced Plate | UW Food Services

The Balanced Plate

Are you making an effort to live a healthier life style ? Food Services at the University of Waterloo supports and encourages students who are working to live a poise and healthy animation. Food choices are one of the biggest parts of live well, which is why we developed our own UW Balanced Plate !
Living a healthy life style means having a balance diet, a well as taking care of your health mentally and physically. Check out Campus Wellness for more tips on living a goodly life style mentally and physically .
A balance diet means eating the correct combination of nutrients so that our bodies can function optimally. This includes macronutrients ( protein, carbohydrates, and fats ) and micronutrients ( vitamins and minerals ). We can achieve a balance diet by getting the right variety and portions of unlike foods .
Using a tool like the UW Balanced Plate can make building your own alimentary meals easy ! Our balance denture is aligned with recommendations in the Canada ‘s 2019 Food Guide.

If you have questions about how the balanced plate fits your nutriment needs, contact our UW dietician Nicole here .
balanced plate
How to get started: Start by building your plate with at least 2 different kinds of fruits or vegetables, a protein option, and a grain or starch choice. If you are silent athirst, you can always go back for a seconds .
Each category on the balanced plate contributes important nutrients to our diet:


Protein rich foods are hold muscle and bone health, and many of these foods are besides a reference of vitamins and minerals like cast-iron, zinc, and magnesium .
Dietitian Tips:

  • Include plant based proteins such as beans, legumes, and tofu. Plant proteins are higher in fibre and lower in saturated fat than many animal based proteins.
  • Get more Omega 3 by choosing fatty fish like salmon or trout.  
  • Chose smaller portions of red meat. Did you know you can mix red meat with beans or lentils to extend the number of servings? Try making your next pasta sauce with ½ beans and ½ lean ground beef- check out this recipe from!

protein source : @ mrdietitian

Grains and starches

These foods provide carbohydrates and character. Carbohydrates are the basal fuel for our consistency, and our brain. Fibre helps keep us full long, and supports digestion .
Dietitian Tips:

  • Chose whole grain bread more often than white or refined breads.
  • Try ancient grains such as bulgur, kamut, quinoa or barley for variety
  • Looking for a gluten free option? Rice, quinoa, or gluten free oats are all good choices! Learn more about gluten free choices here.

grains and starches source : @ mrdietitian

Vegetables and fruits

These foods are nutrient-dense, which means they provide a bunch of the vitamins and minerals we need for optimum health. Learn more about getting adequate fruits and vegetables here .
Dietitian Tips:

  • Each fruit or vegetable has a different vitamin and mineral profile, so aim for lots of variety and colour.
  • If you are choosing frozen or canned, look for options with no added sodium, sugar, sauces or syrups.
  • Try cooking or preparing fruits and vegetables in new ways. Did you know raw asparagus with hummus is a great snack? Or that cucumbers can be baked in the oven?

fruits and vegetables reference : @ mrdietitian


While fat is not represented by its own category on the balance plate, it is still an important separate of our diet. Fats can be integrated in different parts of our home plate and meal choices. Some fats are naturally found in the foods we eat, while others are added during cooking or served on the side. Examples of foods that contain adipose tissue include testis butters, avocado, oils, mayonnaise or dressings, and butter or margarines. A little healthy fatten in our diet not merely helps make food taste delicious, but can help support heart health, skin integrity and brain function .
Dietitian Tips:

    • Chose more unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, when cooking. Learn more about different types of fats here.
    • Try using herbs, spices, vinegar and citrus fruits to season dishes in place of excess fat.
    • Include natural sources of fat more often, such as natural peanut, almond, or seed butters. Learn more about different kinds of nut and seed butters here and here.

Most importantly, it’s not just WHAT we eat, but HOW we eat
While a busy schedule can make it intemperate to take a proper meal break, taking the time to sit down and corrode is important for physical and genial health .
Try to sit down at a postpone, avoid distractions such as your telephone or laptop, and consume with others at mealtimes. Learn more about the benefits of creating healthy eating habits on the canadian Food Guide, Healthy Eating Habits web page .

How do I use the balanced plate with a mixed dish like a casserole or pizza?

many of the foods we eat are ‘ blend dishes ’. A mix dish is a food or detail that includes more than one food group, for example pizza. You can still follow the balance plate template when you have shuffle dishes at mealtime .
Simply look at the detail, or recipe if you made it at home, and think about the main ingredients that went into it. Estimate how much of each ingredient is on your home plate .
For pizza, you may see that a piece has some crust ( grain or starch ), cheese ( protein ) and some toppings like sauce, mushrooms, peppers ( a fiddling vegetables ). There is credibly besides a short petroleum used in the pizza make process, and you may have chosen some dip on the side ; both of these lend fat to the meal .
Based on the balanced denture, what is missing is a serving or two of fruits and vegetables. If you pair your slice of pizza with a side salad or some carrot and celery sticks, you can well make it a balanced meal !
Learn more about making balance shuffle dishes here .
pizza and salad

What if my portions don’t always fit the balanced plate?

The balanced plate is a road map, which means that while most of the meter it does a pretty effective speculate at helping us build healthy meals, there are constantly some exceptions. With all the different food and meal choices available, it would be impossible to constantly have a perfectly balanced plate. The key to balance is aiming for a variety of foods, and appropriate dowry sizes .
For model, on pasta night you may have a plate that include ½ grains and starches ( spaghetti ), ¼ protein ( sauce with meat or lentils ), ¼ vegetables ( a side salad ), and a small fat ( salad fertilization ). This is hush a healthy and balanced choice because all food groups are represented and the portions are appropriate for the kind of meal being served. While there is a short more grains and starches and a little less vegetables than our typical plate what is most authoritative to focus on variety show and inclusion of all food groups .
pasta with salad

Can you explain why different foods are grouped together on the balanced plate?

As easy direction to categorize foods is to focus on the type of macronutrient most present in that food. This is how foods are categorized in our balanced plate .
While we group in concert similar foods to help create balance at meals, it is important to recognize that very few foods contain only one macronutrient. Most foods provide a small of all three macronutrients — protein, carbohydrates and fat. For example, a slice of wholegrain bread is a grain and starch serve because it is high in character and carbohydrates, but that lapp slice of boodle besides has a fiddling protein and fat, along with vitamins and minerals .
Have questions about the balance plate, eating well or nutrition on campus ? Our UW Dietitian has answers ! Email Nicole at @ .

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