What Exactly is a "Balanced Diet"?

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
My husband and I are trying to conceive. Could you possibly give me an example of a day with a well balanced diet? I know you need your vitamins, fruits and vegetables. However, I am very petite and never needed to watch my weight. In fact, I am always trying to put on a few pounds. Please help me to understand exactly what a well balanced diet contains. I know I need to be patient. I just want to make sure I am doing this right.

ANSWER

By a balanced diet I mean including ALL of the food groups each day. That includes fruits and vegetables (at least 5 servings daily); low fat or fat free dairy products; lean meats, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts; and bread, cereal, rice and pasta (mostly from whole grains).

It means eating at least 3 meals a day with 2-3 healthy snacks in between and NOT skipping meals. It means eating a low fat diet, going easy on sweets and foods such as fast foods. It also means drinking plenty of water and watching other beverages such as soft drinks or alcohol.

I recommend my book, "The Everything Pregnancy Nutrition Book." You can find all the information you need for a healthy diet!

You can find more information on nutrition here:
www.healthierus.gov/nutrition.html
www.nutrition.gov/

Good luck,
-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.