I had someone point out that not all of my meals were healthy, in that 1/2 the plate was fruits and veggies. Yes, I know. It is really hard for me to add veggies to a breakfast because they seem to me to not be breakfast food. I'm really weird about what's appropriate as breakfast food. My husband can eat a tuna sandwich, complete with lettuce and pickle for breakfast, but the thought just makes my stomach curdle. Anything with egg and bread usually suffice for me. That is why I like to have juice with breakfast and often fruit. When I do oatmeal, a lot of times I will add bananas, strawberries, blueberries, or even peaches to the oatmeal. I like to sweeten the oatmeal with honey, which has good benefits even though it is used as a sweetener. For example, local raw honey can help with allergies to local pollen.
I personally think it would be impossible to eat every single meal with exactly 1/2 the plate as fruits and veggies and enjoy eating. Besides that, I didn't really talk about snacks that my family eats outside of our three regular meals, and I guess I should have. I either bake up something, like muffins or soft pretzels, or they have a piece of fruit or a vegetable for a snack. Some examples include celery with peanut butter or carrots with a little Ranch dressing. Often, I will just have them eat an apple or a handful of strawberries or raspberries, which is why I buy so many apples. I always buy bananas and apples and then I buy other fruits according to what I find on sale. That includes oranges (I love winter when little clementines are easy to find--they make a great snack), grapes, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, pears, and grapefruit. We don't like mangos and we don't eat cantaloupe or honeydew because of my son's sensitivity. Vegetables I buy regularly include green beans, broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, and potatoes (though in the last few decades, I guess potatoes are no longer a vegetable, but a starch? I still think they have some good qualities that make them a good food, as long as that isn't all you eat).
Also, I try to make all of the dinner meals a good balanced meal that includes a protein and always, always, sides of fruits and veggies. We do drink a lot of milk, and that is another food that is under fire for not being something we should consume. I still think milk, when consumed in small quantities, contains vitamins and benefits that are healthy.
In the end, you do what works for your family. In the summers, we do more salads, like chicken salad, and lots of crock pot meals, like a chicken/potato dish my kids love. That way we aren't heating the house with the oven being on and the foods are more seasonal. We also eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. In the winter, I often resort to canned fruits/veggies, if I can't find what I like for a decent price in the produce section.
I really believe that a healthy, balanced diet is one where you eat foods you like and you try to have the right amounts on a daily basis, not concentrating on just each meal, but daily and even weekly total consumption. Also, drink a lot of water throughout the day and with the meals.
Some of the meals I have planned for this week include:
beef pot roast with carrots and potatoes (I don't do onions, they hurt my stomach)
beef stew made from the leftovers of the pot roast
tacos (made with beef, homemade tortillas, and using veggies like tomatoes and lettuce to stuff them with)
and the usual leftovers and homemade pizza.
I shop the sales, I use my grocery ads, and I stock up on items when I find good deals. I hope this has been helpful. If you disagree with my food choices or think I'm making the prices up, you are free to believe that. I don't want to start a debate. Everyone has their own idea of what eating healthy consists of, especially when there is so much contradicting information out there. My mom fed us well and healthily and all of us kids grew up pretty healthy and I cook a lot like her, so I figure I'm doing all right. This has really helped me take a look at where I can do better, though, so I'm glad I did this. Thanks for reading!