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Average Dinner Size vs. Suggested Dinner Size

Suggested versus average dinner portion sizes

An average meal in the United States has too many calories and too much fat, animal protein, salt, and sugar. It is missing whole grains and fresh fruits and doesn't have enough vegetables.

For a suggested dinner, use a smaller plate (9 in.). Divide your plate into four parts to see how much space each food should take.

  • Fill a little more than one-fourth of your plate with grains.
  • Fill a little less than one-fourth of your plate with protein. Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and soy are good sources of protein.
  • Fill the remaining half of your plate with vegetables and fruits.
  • Add a cup of milk or yogurt to your meal.

MyPlate is the U.S. government's food guide. It can help you make your own well-balanced eating plan. It is available online at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

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