Creating a Balanced Plate: The Importance of Healthy Meals | Ward's Supermarket | Gainesville FL
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Creating a Balanced Plate: The Importance of Healthy Meals

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Starting off the new year strong can mean a lot of different things. Whether you’re getting back into fitness or trying to read new books, there’s one self-care measure that will consistently benefit both your mental and physical well-being: eating healthy meals. Finding the foods that you can enjoy but still help your body comes down to balancing your plate.

Focusing On Nutrition

Nutrition is what fuels your body and strengthens your immune system. With the right foods, you can get your brain and body working in sync.   

On the other hand, a poor diet will impair your bodily functions. From feeling fatigued to experiencing brain fog, a lack of nutrients can weaken your body in many ways. 

Building Your Meal Plan

Creating a balanced meal isn’t always going to be exact, but we’ve put together an easy food group formula. Think of your plate split into 4 sections: protein, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.


Keeping your muscles and bones strong is protein’s job. Lean options such as eggs, chicken, fish, and dairy products are easy to incorporate into everyday meals. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart. Limit red meat consumption to 2-3 times per week.  However, protein doesn’t just come from meat and fish. You can also include beans, lentils, nuts, tofu, meat alternatives or opt for protein powder.


These nutrient-packed foods are what keeps your immune system strong. You may have heard the saying “eat the rainbow”. This phrase means the more colors of vegetables and fruits you have, the wider the array of vitamins and minerals you’re eating. 


Practice what you “peach!” Natural sugar is a great source of energy and healthy when eaten in moderation. If you’re having difficulties keeping up with fresh fruit, try freezing it and making smoothies. You can also purchase pre-frozen items but keep an eye out for added sugar and preservatives.

Whole Grains

Carbohydrates are your main source of energy and whole grains fall into this category. Boosting your fiber intake through whole grains also lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. There are a variety of different grains you can incorporate into your meals including:

  • Oats
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Whole grain bread or pasta
  • Quinoa 
  • Whole wheat flour


Maintaining a healthy diet goes beyond your dinner plate. Make sure you’re drinking water, tea, or coffee rather than sugary drinks such as soda. Fruit juice can also contain high sugar content so limit it to one glass per day. A simple trick to staying hydrated is to keep a bottle of water in convenient areas of your home or car and implement daily hydration goals! 

Begin Your Journey to Health at Ward’s

When it comes to eating healthy, having a balanced plate is the first step. Next is finding fresh, organic foods that not only boost your body but taste great too. At Ward’s, we work to bring nutritious local foods to your kitchen. 

Visit Ward’s to find all the best options for building your balanced plate!

(352) 372-1741
515 NW 23rd Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32609