General Meal Planning Guidelines

Each food group has a special combination of nutrients, so we can combine them using the multi-mix principle to provide the best possible nourishment. The guidelines to using the multi-mix principle are outlined below:

1.Every meal must have one or more staples.

2.After selecting 1 or more staples, a food from the food from animals or legumes is added = 2-mix meal

3.After this you can add a vegetable =3-mix meal

4.If you have a 3-mix meal which has a staple,  a food from animal and a vegetable, you can add a legume = 4-mix meal

Guide to Planning Meals the Multi-mix Way

  2-Mix Meal: Staple + Food from Animals

  3-Mix Meal: Staple + Food from Animals + Vegetable

  4-Mix Meal: Staple + Food from Animals + Vegetable

Guide to Planning Meals the Multi-mix Way (Vegetarian)

    2-Mix Meal: Staple + Legumes

  3-Mix Meal: Staple + Legumes + Green Leafy Vegetable

A diet refers to what an individual eats on a daily basis. We frequently hear that we should eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet refers to a daily eating pattern that supplies a variety of food groups in the right proportions to meet the body’s needs. In the Caribbean, we put foods into six (6) categories: Staples, Foods from Animals, Legumes, Vegetables, Fruits and Fats & Oils. However, for a variety of reasons, not everyone eats food from all the food groups. Or if they do, some persons are unable to eat from all the food groups everyday. 

So then, how do we go about planning a balanced diet? A guide is below:

  1. Every main meal should have a staple and a food that is high in protein. (Food from Animal or a Legume) and vegetables. The amounts needed will vary from individual to individual.
    1. For individuals with vegetable based diets, the following combinations are recommended to ensure that needs for protein and Vitamin B12 are met:
  • Legumes + seeds and nuts
  • Legumes + grains and cereals
  • Legumes + milk products
  • Grains and cereals + milk products
  • Seeds and nuts + milk products
  1. If at all possible, the vegetable food group should be included in every main meal.
  2. Try to have two to four servings of fruits each day. Examples of a serving of fruit include 1 small orange, 1 medium naseberry, 1 medium guava, ¾ cup coconut water,  ½ large banana, ½ cup orange juice and ½ cup grapefruit  juice
  3. Use fats and oils very sparingly.


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