Designing a well-balanced meal plan involves having various steps in check.
✓ Know how many servings from the four basic food groups and expanded food groups are recommended for your individual daily requirements according to the Canadian Food Guide or another trusted food guide. See Designing a Menu with the Expanded Food Groups.
✓ Learn to identify with servings sizes for the various foods in the different food groups. See Designing a Menu with the Expanded Food Groups.
✓ If watching calories, know how many daily calories are recommended for your diet according to a trusted food guide or health professional. See Calculating Calories.
✓ Learn to count calories for whole food items per serving size. See Calculating Calories.
✓ Determine if there are any beneficial foods to add to a meal plan that may help heal a deficiency or aid in healing an ailment. See Essentials Nutrients and Beneficial Foods.
✓ Account for any food allergies or intolerances; as well as special diet requirements (pureed or soft foods).
In the “Meal Plan Example for 2,600 Calories” chart below, it is demonstrated what a single day meal plan may look like. Meal plans are usually designed for a full week.
Written by: J. Marshall
- Health Canada, Canada’s Food Guide: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php
- Health Canada, Canada’s Food Guide: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/index-eng.php
- Handy GUide to Serving Sizes: https://www.eatrightontario.ca/getmedia/255dbbe6-23cd-4adf-9aba-f18310f09e3d/Handy-Servings-Guide-English-for-web-FINAL-October-2015.aspx
- DIeticians of Canada: http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Serving-size.aspx
- Government of Canada/ Canada’s Food Guides: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canada-food-guides.html
- Daily Intake Guide: http://www.mydailyintake.net/nutrients/