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Serving Up Nutritious Meals: March 8, 2011

With bright colors and up to the minute information, it takes the guess work out of nutrition and can chart you on the right path to more nutritious meals. "There's a website called mypyramid.gov. They'll actually tailor a meal plan for you," says weight management dietitian, Julie Stacey.

This free website can take the guess work out of meal preparation and best of all; it's catered to meet your family's needs. "You can put in your age. Your height, your weight, your gender and also your activity level as well and that will actually give you a meal plan based on how many calories you need, how many servings of fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins, etc, that you'll need daily."

Julie's sole mission at Lee Health Solutions is to make sure everyone is serving up nutritious meals. "We use something called the plate method. What you can think of is dividing your plate into thirds. A third of your plate would be a lean protein or dairy. Another third of the plate would be a whole grain. And the other third would be a fruit."

The plate changes slightly at lunch and dinner. "You're going to have half of your plate full of non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of your plate would be lean protein, and then a quarter of your plate would be a whole grain."

And what about snacks? Julie says the best snacks are those that have two food groups such as a whole grain cracker and cheese or a piece of fruit.