Sample Menus

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raisinsPlanning a day’s worth of meals using smart food choices might seem overwhelming at first. Here are some sample menus to show you how easy it can be. These menus provide 2,000 calories a day. You might need to eat fewer or more calories, depending on your activity level and whether you are a man or a woman.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate offers sample menus (PDF, 776K) for a week. Although it might look like the recommended amounts for a food group are not met, or are exceeded, in a single day, the average over a week meets recommendations.

MY SHOPPING LIST

notepad and pencil

Making a shopping list will help you in two ways. It will remind you to look for the nutritious foods you should be eating, and it will make it easier to stick to your food budget. Be sure to include the items you need for your menus and any low-calorie basics you need to restock in your kitchen.

This sample shopping list from www.health.gov includes a variety of healthy foods for you to look for. You can make a blank copy of these pages to use when you shop, or use this list as a basis for making your own shopping list. Of course, you won’t need everything listed here every time you shop, but this will help you remember what you need to buy.

DOWNLOAD SHOPPING LIST (PDF, 129K)

Sample Menu 1

Breakfast

Breakfast burrito
  • 1 flour tortilla (8-inch diameter)
  • 1 scrambled egg
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

1/2 large grapefruit

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

Lunch

Roast beef sandwich
  • 1 small whole-grain hoagie bun
  • 2 ounces lean roast beef
  • 1 slice part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms (cooked in 1 teaspoon corn/canola oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
Baked potato wedges
  • 1 cup potato wedges (cooked in 1 teaspoon canola oil)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

1 cup fat-free milk

Dinner

Baked salmon on beet greens
  • 4 ounce salmon filet
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup cooked beet greens (cooked in 2 teaspoons canola oil)
Quinoa with almonds
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds

1 cup fat-free milk

Snack

1 cup cantaloupe balls

Sample Menu 2

Breakfast

Whole wheat French toast
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2/3 egg
  • 2 teaspoons tub margarine
  • 1 tablespoon pancake syrup

1/2 large grapefruit

1 cup fat-free milk

Lunch

3-bean vegetarian chili on baked potato
  • 1/4 cup each cooked kidney beans, navy beans, and black beans
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1 teaspoon corn/canola oil (to cook onion and peppers)
  • 1/4 cup cheese sauce
  • 1 large baked potato

1/2 cup cantaloupe

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

 

Dinner

Hawaiian pizza
  • 2 slices cheese pizza, thin crust
  • 1 ounce lean ham
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, cooked in 1 teaspoon safflower oil
Green salad
  • 1 cup mixed salad greens
  • 4 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing

1 cup fat-free milk

Snack

3 tablespoon hummus

5 whole wheat crackers

Sample Menu 3

Breakfast

Cold cereal
  • 1 cup shredded wheat
  • 1/2 cup sliced banana
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 2 teaspoons all-fruit preserves

1 cup fat-free chocolate milk

Lunch

Tuna salad sandwich
  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 2 ounces tuna
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce

1 medium peach

1 cup fat-free milk

 

Dinner

Roasted chicken
  • 3 ounces cooked chicken breast

1 large sweet potato, roasted

1/2 cup succotash (lima beans & corn)
  • 1 teaspoon tub margarine
1 ounce whole wheat roll
  • 1 teaspoon tub margarine

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

Snack

1/4 cup dried apricots

1 cup flavored yogurt (chocolate)

Sample Menu 4

Breakfast

Creamy oatmeal (cooked in milk)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

Lunch

Taco salad
  • 2 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 ounces cooked ground turkey (cooked in 2 teaspoons corn oil)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 cup avocado
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice (on avocado)
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

 

Dinner

Spinach lasagna roll-ups
  • 1 cup lasagna noodles (2 ounces dry)
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 ounce whole wheat roll
  • 1 teaspoon tub margarine

1 cup fat-free milk

Snack

2 tablespoons raisins

1 ounce unsalted almonds

What's On Your Plate? is based on the nutrition recommendations for older adults in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).