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The perfect plate

We know what a balanced meal should look like, but are often less sure about how to make it happen. Niki Bezzant shows how to get food proportions right — every time!

The perfect plate is a model used by nutritionists to help us understand portion sizes and aim for the right proportions of each food group in every meal.

This is easy to envisage when making simple meat and veges, but it can fall apart when we make mixed meals such as stir-fries, curries or pasta dishes. It’s all too easy to end up with a meal that’s essentially two-thirds pasta and one third meat, with minimal veges. But to stay healthy, it’s important to keep our vege intake up, which means tweaking the proportions within these meals, too.

What does one serve look like?

At dinner we usually aim for one serve of protein, at least two serves of vegetables and one to two serves of carbs. Meal size will depend on energy needs.

  • 125-150g raw lean red or white meat = size and thickness of your palm
  • 125-150g raw fish = size of your hand
  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables or sprouts = 2 handfuls
  • 1 carrot = 1 handful
  • 1 small capsicum or 1/2 large = 1 handful
  • 1/3 cup cooked brown rice = 1 tennis ball

How to translate the perfect plate into any kind of meal

Start with…

Now make Steak with horseradish cream, baked potato and greens

Start with…

Now make Chicken and roast vege pasta

Start with…

Now make Hoisin beef and vege stir-fry

First published: Jul 2015



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