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What Makes a Balanced Meal?

Jan 8, 2022

Since life is mostly about balance…shouldn’t your meals be too? Whether you work a 9 to 5, attend school full-time, or are a busy parent, prepping better-for-you dishes every single day isn’t always a possibility. And—guess what—it doesn’t have to be! No one meal is ever off-limits, and we should fuel with food that’s both good for the soul and fits our schedules.

If you are looking to add some balanced meals into the equation this year, there are so many accessible and equally as tasty options to explore. From prepared lunches and dinners to nutritious grab-and-go noshes, we broke it all down below!

The 5 Food Groups

You might recall memorizing the famous color-coded food pyramid way back in the day. Although this trusty diagram has received a makeover or two over the decades, many of the pillars remain the same. 

  • Protein: Chicken, fish, beef, tofu, lentils, beans, pork, eggs, and nuts
  • Fruit: Berries, bananas, apples, oranges, papaya, and lychee
  • Vegetables: Carrots, greens (like spinach or kale), broccoli, cauliflower, and string beans
  • Carbohydrates: Bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, oats, starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes and peas, beans, lentils. (Pro tio: Aim for more complex carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates!)
  • Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy milk

Aim to include at least 3 of the 5 categories in your meals, and always try to switch things up! If you had mostly dairy and fruit for breakfast, have veggies and protein for lunch or dinner. Not only will this make sure that you’re getting some good nutrients in, but mixing and matching food groups also help add variety to the taste and texture. This makes a meal all the more appetizing! 

Satisfying Snacks        

  • Oatmeal (carb), topped with berries (fruit), and almond butter (protein)
  • Greek yogurt (dairy), topped with pear slices (fruit), and granola (carb)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (protein), your cheese of choice (dairy), and an apple (fruit)
  • Smoothie with strawberries and banana (fruit), peanut butter (protein), greek yogurt (protein), and some sneaky spinach (veggie)

Prepared Meals (For a Prepared You!)

Getting started is usually the trickiest part, but prepared meals can put you on the right track. We know that meal planning, cooking, and cleaning is a big to-do every day, so let us take lunch and dinner off your plate. Picture this. You open your front door to chef-cooked dishes delivered fresh. 3 minutes in the microwave later, you’re eating a balanced and oh-so satisfying dinner. All of our meals have a nutritionist’s stamp of approval—chock-full of fiber, protein, whole-food ingredients, and none of that artificial stuff. 

Whenever you’re ready to incorporate some balanced eats into the mix, there are nutritious (and so-not boring!) meals to enjoy. Grab protein-packed snacks when you’re on the go, switch up those food groups, and add some pre-cooked meals to your weekly menu!

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What Makes a Balanced Meal?