Composing a Meal

You don’t have to be an artist or gourmet chef to plate an attractive and nutritious meal for your family.

I’ll say it again: You don’t have to be artistically gifted or professionally trained to put together a beautiful, balanced meal.

You just need to consider some basic principles.

Food Groups

When you are meal planning, take a minute to be sure you are covering the major food groups: protein, carbs, fruits/vegetables. A meal that is carb heavy is missing some nutrients. A meal that is entirely produce will not last very long, since our bodies metabolize that quickly. Your menu needs all three to be a balanced meal.


God created us to enjoy beauty. When you include beautiful colors on the plate, your eye is attracted to the arrangement, and then you are naturally drawn to the nutritional benefit scattered throughout the colors. For a breakdown of the benefits associated with each color group, see this article.


It is good to mix up textures on a plate. You don’t want a meal that is entirely mushy or a plate full of dry foods. Keep in mind the consistency of your menu items as you put them together in your meal plan.

If you can run quickly through these three things as you choose your meals, you will be able to serve an appealing plate that also includes a variety of the nutritional needs for the day. Remember, as my mother always said, variety is the spice of life!



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