Meal Planning Part One: Health and Nutrition

There are many factors that go into  meal planning for our family.   The first factor that I always look at are the health requirements of the family members or friends who will be having the meal. Our medical  diagnoses has progressed to the point today that we know certain foods affect us in different ways and we can plan our meals to avoid those foods that cause us disease and or discomfort. We have a wide range of food requirements in our family, we have Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Sensitive and Type 1 Diabetes. Then we have those who say just give me meat and potatoes, with a little gravy please. Keeping all the health requirements in mind, we still need a nutritional balance on our table.

I remember when my Grandmother would set the table for a meal she always presented two vegetables and sometimes more and usually had a meat of some kind.  I don't really think she had any guidelines to speak of, just what was seasonally available on the farm.  Then when I was in school we had classes in Homemaking. I took Home Economics all 4 years in high school and some college classes.  Today for the most part those life skills are not taught in our public schools and is evidenced in the lack of knowledge in the population.

For many years the government put out a Food Pyramid that showed all the foods that were necessary for a balanced diet.

  Today that Pyramid has been changed to a Plate.

If you will notice the plate should be divided between Fruits, Grains, Vegetables, Protein, and Dairy. With half the plate being Fruits and Vegetables.  If you would like to get a more detailed look at the division of The Plate and suggestions for the different areas just go to USDA My Plate & Food Pyramid

In planning the meal it is very important for me to keep that balance in nutrition fulfilling all the health requirements for family and friends. I love color and many times I will look at the color of the plate, the vegetables and the fruits.  I had a teacher tell the class one time, if it is green, red, yellow, or purple, it is good, be careful of to much white and use brown sparingly, not a bad suggestion.

I am so glad you stopped by today and welcome any questions or comments you have and am very interested in how you approach your Health and Nutrition in Meal Planning.
Peace and Joy,
Miz Helen
This Post Is Linked To
Cast Party Wednesday
Made By You Monday
The Bulletin Board
On The Menu Monday
Busy Monday
Inspire Me Monday
Friday Favorites
Gallery of Favorites
Freedom Friday

Miz Helen
Miz Helen

Cookbook Author, Recipe Developer, Organic Gardner.


  1. It can be so confusing! Your grandmother knew what was best!

  2. When reading all the blogs that do whole foods it is nothing what the government recommends. I have tried low fat, fat free sugar free, you name it. I am beginning to think the good fats like coconut oil and real butter are 100 times better for us. All the antibiotics they put in the meat now is really making us a sick people.

  3. Great tips and ideas!

    I shared on twitter and Google+. =)

  4. Love this Miz Helen!

    Saw this at Mrs. Happy Homemaker and thought I'd come over!

  5. I totally agree, they really don't teach enough about proper nutrition in schools these days. I remember the food pyramid too :) You've shared some excellent tips here. When I'm planning meals I try not to make the meat or fish the focus, and we eat vegetarian meals several times a week as well. Thank you for sharing this post with The Gallery of Favorites, Miz Helen.

  6. I tend to follow your grandmother's example and serve 2 vegetable dishes. We also eat a lot of salads. Since I grow so many veggies myself, it is not only healthier but also much more frugal. And vegetables and fruits are naturally gluten-free. :)

  7. Agree that a LOT of basic knowledge around food and nutrition have fallen by the wayside, sad to say! Thanks so much for linking on Busy Monday!


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Your visit has been very special. I look forward to your comments, they are like opening little gifts. Thank you for stopping by and hurry back!
Miz Helen