How to Make Your Plate Look Great

How to Make Your Plate Look Great

May 17, 2023 General /Family

If you think about it, we actually start eating before we even take our first bite of food…with our eyes! How our food looks plays a big part in how likely or willing we are to eat it; this is especially true for children. While adults are usually focused on the way their food tastes or smells, kids are more interested in how their food looks. Simply put, if it looks fun, they’ll probably eat it! The tips below provide easy ways for you to create healthy, good-looking plates everyone in your family will love.


As a general guide, think of your plate as a clock with fruits and vegetables placed from 6-12 o’clock, grains placed at 12-3 o’clock and proteins at 3-6 o’clock. A smaller plate should be used for children to help their portions be the right size. Don’t forget the dairy — milk or yogurt on the side!


Aim for a 3 oz. portion-size of protein for adults and older children. This is a serving about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of their hand, or a 3/4 cup serving of beans. Younger children (under 5 years) can be served half this amount, or the size the palm of their hand. Cut chicken or beef into cubes and thread on skewers before cooking or slice cooked meat before placing it on the plate.


Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables. Remember — about half your plate will be fruits and vegetables, so the color splash from these food groups will have a big impact. Kids might enjoy their fruit in a small bowl instead of on the plate.


Your children will prefer to eat brightly colored foods. Keep the vibrant color of veggies by steaming or cooking lightly in the microwave. Most vegetables will cook in less than 5-7 minutes. When they are done cooking, serve them right away or remove them from the hot pan to avoid overcooking.


Round out the final quarter of your plate with whole grains such quinoa, whole wheat tortillas or brown rice. Dress up your whole grains by tossing 1-2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh herbs just before serving. Cilantro and parsley are inexpensive, but add color and flavor. They are also easy to grow in a container.


Changing the shape of foods can make it easier (and a lot more fun) for little ones to eat. Instead of slicing cucumbers, cut them into spears. Grating carrots or zucchini make them quicker to cook and toddlers can easily pick up with their fingers. No need to make fish cakes round, make them fish shaped. Use cookie cutters to make watermelon flowers!


Use your imagination to create a fun story about the plate. Make your mashed sweet potatoes a hot lava field with a chicken strip bridge across it next to the forest of broccoli trees.


Serve potatoes with broccoli and cheese over them, or cook frozen mixed vegetables with rice to add texture and color.


A light sprinkle of cheese or dried fruit adds a festive touch to salads, vegetables and grains. Play with colors and textures by topping proteins with pico de Gallo (mixture of chopped tomato, cilantro, onion and lime juice) or fruit salsa.

Food image

You don’t have to be a professional chef to perk up a plate. Even the simplest touch can give you a feeling of pride and give your family beautiful food they’ll love to eat!


Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: