How to Portion Your Plate for a Healthy Meal

Are you someone who struggles with portion control? Do you often wonder how much of each food component you should be including in your main meals? If so, wonder no longer. This simple portion plate guide will be your new go-to-girl when building healthy meals!

½ Plate = Vegetables/Salad

Half of your dinner plate should be full of your favourite vegetables or salad stuff!1 This should create the bulk of your meal. This half of your plate doesn’t have to be boring! Here are some fun and delicious ways to incorporate vegetables or salad into your lunches and dinners:

  • Veggies roasted in olive oil and your favourite herbs.
  • Sautéed greens in a splash of olive oil, garlic and onion.
  • Salad with a touch of dressing or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • The veggies included in a stir-fry, curry, soup, pasta, etc.

¼ Plate = Lean Protein

This section of your plate will help to keep you full! It should be equal to around 100-120g of cooked protein.1 This protein doesn’t have to be meat-based, mix it up! Here are some ideas:

  • Chicken – homemade schnitzels, chicken drumsticks, stuffed chicken breast.
  • Beef – in a stir-fry, mince in a Bolognese, beef chunks in a curry, piece of lean steak.
  • Pork – pork roast, pork mince in rissoles.
  • Fish – tin of tuna, piece of salmon/white fish, fish curry, salmon pasta.
  • Eggs – boiled eggs in salad, scrambled eggs on toast.
  • Tofu/tempeh – in a salad, stir-fry, or with a side of veggies.
  • Legumes – added into soups, curries, salads, pastas, burrito bowls.

¼ Plate = Carbohydrate

The remaining quarter of your plate should be filled with carbohydrate foods, the best part!1 These will provide some fibre, helping to keep you fuller for longer. The carbohydrate source should be around ½ – 1 cup in portion.1 Swapping white options for wholemeal/wholegrain varieties of pasta, bread and rice is a great choice! Some healthy carbohydrates to include in your meals are:

  • Potato/sweet potato – roasted, mash, in soup.
  • Corn – 1 cob of corn.
  • Pasta/noodles.

Use this as a guide to build main meals that are packed full of nutrients, filling and delicious. Be sure to experiment with your choice of ingredients to keep things extra exciting!

Written by: Abbey Sissian.(Dietitian Student)
Reviewed: Emily Ross (Dietitian)


  1. How understanding portion sizes can help you meet your healthy eating goals [Internet]. 2018 [cited 7 September 2020]. Available from:
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