Eat more nutritious foods in the right proportions.
It’s easy to have a healthy diet when you know how.
My Healthy Plate
We need to eat a wide variety of foods in the right amounts to meet our daily nutritional needs. Eating healthier, balanced meals does not have to be complicated.
My Healthy Plate is an easy-to-understand visual guide, designed by the Health Promotion Board. It helps you adopt healthier eating habits, which in turn can help you better manage your weight and ward off chronic diseases.
Quarter, Quarter, Half is an easy way to remember the right proportions of each food group in a well-balanced meal. Here’s how:
- Fill Quarter plate with wholegrains
- Fill Quarter plate with good sources of protein
- Fill Half plate with fruit and vegetables
If you are unable to find a meal that fits the Quarter, Quarter, Half proportions, you can make up the missing food groups in your next meal.
Following My Healthy Plate is easy, with our Quarter, Quarter, Half song!
Explore the sections of My Healthy Plate
Click on each food group section to learn more
Quarter plate of Wholegrains
Wholegrains are rich in nutrients because they are not over-processed and still keep their original form.
Refined grains such as white rice and white bread have been processed which results in the loss of valuable nutrients.
What do wholegrains provide?
Wholegrains are filled with vitamins B and E, minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium, phytochemicals and dietary fibre. Click here for more information about wholegrains.
What are the benefits of eating wholegrains?
Eating wholegrains can help you with weight management by keeping you feeling full for longer, which helps prevent overeating. Having wholegrains as part of your meal plan can also help lower your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and certain cancers in the long run.
2 slices of wholemeal bread
½ bowl* of wholegrain noodles, beehoon or spaghetti
4 plain wholemeal crackers
½ bowl* of brown or red rice
⅔ bowl* of uncooked oatmeal
*1 Rice Bowl
A Quarter plate of wholegrains is about 2 servings of carbohydrates. Having a Quarter plate of wholegrains at each meal will meet the daily recommended intake of 5 to 7 servings of carbohydrates.
Add wholegrains gradually
Start small – replace half of your white rice with brown rice; or simply aim to incorporate wholegrains into your meal once a week for a start, and slowly work your way up.
Try different types of wholegrains
There is more to wholegrains than just brown rice and wholemeal bread. Try oats, black glutinous rice, wholegrain noodles, whole-wheat pasta, buckwheat soba, barley, millet and quinoa too! Once you get accustomed to the subtle nutty taste of wholegrains, you will appreciate how wholegrains can add interesting textures to your meals or dishes!
Keep a lookout for wholegrain options
Look out for food products with the “Higher in Wholegrains” Healthier Choice Symbol when you do your grocery shopping. Keep your eyes peeled for eateries and food stalls with the “Wholegrain options available here” decal as they provide items like brown rice, brown rice beehoon or wholegrain chapati.
Quarter plate of protein (meat and others)
Poultry, red meat, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are some examples of protein. Plant-based protein such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, nuts, beans and legumes are good protein sources too.
What do protein provide?
Protein sources are packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B and zinc. Fish also provide beneficial fats like Omega-3 fatty acids.
What are the benefits of eating protein?
Protein is the building block of almost everything in your body. It helps to build and repair body tissues and regulate bodily functions. That’s why you need protein in your diet to help keep your muscles, bones, organs, skin and nails healthy.
1 palm-sized piece of meat, fish or poultry
2 cups* of reduced-fat milk
2 small blocks of soft beancurd
5 medium prawns
¾ cups* of cooked pulses (peas, beans, lentils)
A Quarter plate of meat and others is about 1 serving of protein. Having a Quarter plate of protein at each meal will meet the daily recommended intake of 2 to 3 servings of protein.
Seniors aged 50 and above should aim for 3 servings of protein daily to show down the loss of muscle mass and muscle function.
Half plate of fruit & vegetables
Fruit and vegetables not only add beautiful colours, interesting textures and delicious flavours to our meals, they also provide unique nutrients and health benefits.
What do fruit and vegetables provide?
Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in calories, fat and sodium. They are also rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
What are the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables?
A healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables helps protect you against many diseases, e.g. heart diseases, stroke and certain cancers. The high water and fibre content helps to add volume and bulk to your meals to fill you up and minimises any urges to overeat.
A Half plate of fruit and vegetables is about 2 servings, i.e. 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables. Having a Half plate of fruit and vegetables at each meal will meet the daily recommended intake of at least 2 servings of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables.
Eat a variety of different colours
The different colour pigments in fruit and vegetables offer unique health benefits over and above the common nutrients. That’s why it’s important to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables for the maximum health benefits.
End your meal with fresh or frozen fruit
Enjoy fresh-cut fruit or frozen fruit for dessert. Treat yourself to sweet, healthy fruit instead of sugar-laden, high-calorie options. Try freezing grapes, orange wedges, banana slices, or watermelon for a cool tasty dessert.
Eat whole fruit instead of fruit juices
Eat the whole fruit as the pulp and skin of the fruit are high in dietary fibre. Dietary fibre helps promote regular bowel movement, slows down the absorption of sugars into your blood, and also helps you stay full for longer so you can control your calorie intake.
Be adventurous. Add vegetables/fruit in your meat dishes.
Instead of all-meat dishes, add in fruit and vegetables for an additional boost of vitamins and minerals in your healthy meals. Experiment with fruit to add flavour and colour to your dish, such as adding pineapple to sweet and sour fish, or adding mango to jazz up chicken.
Stock up frozen fruit and vegetables
Frozen fruit and vegetables are usually flash frozen to retain their nutrients, thus remaining nutritious and can be stored for longer periods. Keep a few handy bags at home to use when you finish your fresh supplies, before your next grocery run.
Who is it for?
My Healthy Plate visual guide can be used by everyone!
Just follow the Quarter, Quarter, Half guide for a healthier, well-balanced meal that includes all the food groups in the right proportions. It’s the easy way to get all the nutrients that your body needs regardless of the meal type, cuisine or occasion.
The following groups can also use My Healthy Plate with some adjustments:
People trying to lose weight
Instead of cutting out a food group entirely, use the Quarter, Quarter, Half proportions to get all the vital nutrients to keep your body functioning well. Just reduce your overall meal portion size and stay active to achieve your goals.
Seniors aged 50 and above
Follow the Quarter, Quarter, Half proportions to meet your nutritional needs. Aim for at least 3 servings of protein-rich foods daily to help build and repair muscle tissue, and minimise the loss of muscle mass.
People with special dietary needs
My Healthy Plate – Quarter, Quarter, Half is a visual guide to help you adopt healthier eating habits but does not serve to replace medical advice. If you have specific dietary requirements or existing medical conditions, please speak with your doctor or clinician for advice that is best suited for your needs.
How to make the most of My Healthy Plate?
Eating meals in the Quarter, Quarter, Half proportions is a great start to better health but the journey doesn’t end there! We should also be mindful of our cooking methods, choose healthier foods and exercise regularly.
Here’s how to get more benefits from your meals:
Choose healthier oils
Oils that are lower in saturated fat (canola, soy and olive oils) are better for your health. Try to limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. Keep a look out for Healthier Dining Partners who use healthier oils in their cooking when you dine out.
Make water your drink of choice
Did you know that water quenches thirst better than sugar-sweetened beverages? Plus, having a lot of sugary drinks leads to weight gain. But if you want a sweetened drink, opt for a healthier option that’s lower in sugar or with no added sugar.
Get active and stay active
In addition to eating healthier meals, being physically active is essential to maintaining good health. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
Eat a variety
For optimal health, eat a wide variety of foods from all the food groups. Try different wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, meat and other protein-rich foods including those containing calcium.
Choose healthier options
Buy groceries/meals with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS). When ordering food, ask for less sauces/gravy and refrain from drinking it all.
Use healthier cooking methods
Try healthier cooking methods such as boiling, grilling, roasting, baking, stir-frying and steaming instead of deep frying.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Both convey information about food groups and how to eat healthily. The information about what to eat and how much to eat is the same in both. That’s because the same scientific information is used to develop both guides.
The Food Pyramid was a triangular diagram representing the recommended number of servings from each of the four basic food groups.
The Health Promotion Board has replaced the Healthy Diet Pyramid with My Healthy Plate (MHP), a friendly and easy-to-understand visual guide to help you build balanced meals. MHP emphasises healthy eating habits, such as a balanced diet with correct proportions from key food groups and choosing healthier options like wholegrains, lean meat and a rainbow of coloured fruit and vegetables.
Do follow My Healthy Plate – Quarter, Quarter, Half to help you remember and practice healthier eating habits.
Yes! My Healthy Plate – Quarter, Quarter, Half is a visual guide to help you envision what a healthier, balanced meal might look like, and also illustrates the relative proportions of each food group that should be included in a healthy meal.
However, My Healthy Plate does not define or dictate the number of calories or servings per day of each food group, as the actual portion size or amount of different foods needed would vary among individuals. To identify the recommended number of servings suitable for your needs, please refer to the chart below.
For infants aged 6 months – 12 months, their dairy foods or calcium-rich foodsservings should be provided in the form of 750ml breast milk or infant formula.
My Healthy Plate – Quarter, Quarter, Half is a visual guide to help you meet dietary recommendations easily. It’s good to try to follow the Quarter, Quarter, Half principles at each meal. However, if you’re unable to do so, plan your meals such that you eat food from all three food groups throughout the day.
Feeling peckish between meals? Try snacking on healthier options like wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables, dairy or calcium-rich foods. Use this chance to make up for shortfalls of food groups from previous meals! Some great snack ideas:
Whole wheat crackers and biscuits, wholemeal bread, wholegrain corn tortilla chips.
Meat and others
Cheese, chicken, egg, low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt, tofu, unsalted peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios or pumpkin seeds.
Fruit and vegetables
Apple, pear, banana, grapes, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots or celery sticks.
Different individuals have different needs. Should you be more sedentary, it’s best to stick to the lower end of the range. If you’re very active, you may need more servings.
What are wholegrains?
Wholegrains are rich in nutrients because they are not over-processed and still keep their original form. On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and white bread have been processed, resulting in the loss of valuable nutrients.
Wholegrains have 3 edible layers:
Here’s the whole truth: all grains start out as wholegrains. But to keep that name, these grains have to retain all three layers in their original proportions after milling.
Rich in fibre, B vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (beneficial compounds produced in plants)
Contains mainly carbs and proteins
Packed with B vitamins, Vitamin E, trace minerals and phytochemicals
Wholegrains are every bit as rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fibre as fruit and vegetables! Furthermore, they also contain beneficial phytochemicals and all these nutrients help protect your health.
Vitamin E, selenium
& phytic acid
Help prevent damage to
your blood vessels
Helps lower blood
cholesterol and promotes bowel function
Adds bulk to your diet and
helps you feel full, reducing
the risk of overeating
Start switching from refined grains to wholegrains by mixing brown rice with white rice.
Fibre-rich starches found in wholegrains, vegetables, fruits and beans are your best bet for a balanced diet. These are nutrient-dense and can help control your blood glucose.
What is protein?
Protein can be found in poultry, red meat, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. Plant-based protein such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, nuts, beans and legumes are also good sources of protein.
Protein sources are packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B and zinc. Fish also contains beneficial fats like Omega-3 fatty acids.
Protein is the building block of almost everything in your body. It helps to build and repair body tissues, as well as regulate bodily functions. This is why you need protein in your diet to help keep your muscles, bones, organs, skin and nails healthy.
Choose lean over fatty meat
Fatty meat and lard are high in saturated fats. Too much saturated fats can cause cholesterol to build up in your blood vessels, hence increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Remove visible fats in meats to cut down your intake of saturated fats.
Choose fresh over processed meat
Limit your intake of preserved and processed meats like luncheon meat and sausages, as they are low in protein and high in saturated fats and sodium. Consuming processed meats can also increase the risk of heart and kidney diseases.
Have a mix of plant and animal-based protein
Consume a mix of protein from fresh foods. These contain healthy fats and are good sources of nutrients such as iodine, iron, zinc, and vitamin B.
Choose protein-rich foods which are also high in calcium
Calcium strengthens bones and teeth, therefore reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Try milk, yoghurt, cheese, tofu, calcium-enriched soy milk and sardines, which are rich in protein and calcium.
Choose low-fat or non-fat over full-fat dairy products
Low-fat or non-fat dairy products provide protein and calcium without the extra fats and calories, helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Fruit and Vegetables
Maintaining a healthy weight doesn’t have to be a struggle. Simply replace high-calorie ingredients with fruit and vegetables. The water and fibre they contain add volume to your meals and fill you up more easily. Being rich in nutrients vital to your body’s functions, fruit and vegetables are essential for your health.
Fruit and vegetables boast a range of essential vitamins and minerals which are naturally low in fats, calories and sodium.
- Promotes proper bowel function
- Offers feeling of fullness with lower overall calorie intake
- Helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease
Folate (Folic acid)
Helps body form
red blood cells
Vitamin A and C
- Helps protect body against infections
- Helps vision in dim light
- Promotes growth and repair of body tissues
It is recommended to eat 2 servings of fruit and 2 servings of leafy vegetables per day.
This is what 1 serving looks like:
1 small apple, orange, pear or mango
1 wedge of papaya, pineapple or watermelon
10 grapes or longans
1 medium banana
¼ round plate+ of cooked vegetables
150g of raw leafy vegetables
100g of raw non-leafy vegetables
¾ cup* of cooked leafy vegetables
¾ cup* of non-leafy vegetables
All weights listed are for edible portions only.
*250 ml cup
+10 inch plate
The different colour pigments in fruit and vegetables offer unique health benefits, including protection from diseases like heart disease or cancer. Treat yourself to the full spectrum of nature’s bounty for maximum benefits.
Add fruit and vegetables to your meals to fill you up and lower your calorie intake.
Less cereal, more fruit
Cut back on the cereal and make room for delicious fruit like banana slices and blueberries. Now your breakfast boasts fewer calories and better taste.
Finish your meal with fruit
Fresh apples, oranges, pears and bananas are healthy add-ons that need little or no preparation.
Lunch / Dinner
Eat a green salad as often as you can
If you haven’t eaten veggies for the whole day, a salad will do the trick. Remember to pick a healthier salad dressing e.g. balsamic vinaigrette. Creamy dressings generally pack more calories and sodium than non-creamy ones.
Include vegetables in your meal
Instead of simply choosing meat dishes, mix in vegetables for a more filling meal with extra vitamins and minerals. Adding fruit also makes for healthy, tasty dishes. Pineapples go well with sweet and sour dishes, while mangoes taste great with chicken.
Order at least 2 vegetable dishes when eating out
The fibre in vegetables helps you feel full after a meal, curbing overeating or snacking. Try asking for 2 vegetable sides and 1 meat option in your economy rice meal.
Enjoy fresh cut fruit or frozen fruit for dessert
Treat yourself to sweet healthy fruits instead of sugar-laden, high-calorie options like ice kachang. Try freezing grapes, orange wedges, banana slices, or watermelon for a cool tasty dessert.
Healthier Oils and Fats
What are healthier oils and fats?
Oil is an ingredient that’s present in most of our daily meals. That’s why it is important to understand what they contain, so that you know what you are consuming. All cooking oils contain 100% fat and are typically a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats.
Like protein and carbohydrates, fats are essential for fuelling our body with energy. Certain bodily functions also rely on the presence of fats. However, fats should always be consumed in moderation to prevent excess calorie intake.
Healthy unsaturated fats include:
The two main types of polyunsaturated fats are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and cell growth.
- Why they are good: Omega-3 fats cut your risk of heart disease. It can help reduce blood clotting in the arteries, protect arteries from hardening and lower the level of triglycerides, a type of fat, in the blood.
- Good sources of Omega-3: Fish (e.g. tuna, mackerel, tenggiri batang and ikan tenggiri papan), walnuts, canola oil, soybean oil and products enriched or fortified with Omega-3 (e.g. bread and eggs).
- Why they are good: Omega-6 fats keep your heart healthy by lowering total cholesterol levels, as well as low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Good sources of Omega-6: Some plant-based oils (particularly corn oil, soybean oil, avocado oil and sunflower oil), and seeds (e.g. sunflower and sesame seeds).
- Why they are good: Monounsaturated fats help to lower total cholesterol levels as well as LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels.
- Sources of fats: Some plant-based oils (e.g. olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil), most nuts (e.g. almonds, cashew nuts and hazelnuts) and avocados.
There are also unhealthy fats present in cooking oils. Click here to learn more.
All cooking oils contain 100% fat. What differentiates healthier oils from unhealthy oils is the higher proportion of healthy unsaturated fats. So even if it is labelled “healthier cooking oil”, it should still be used and consumed in moderation.
Healthier oils offer mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Unhealthy oils tend to be higher in trans and saturated fats.
Picking healthier oils can be tricky. Not all plant-based oils are healthier and many blended oils can be high in saturated fats.
To guide your purchase, refer to the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) or simply look out for the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS).
Follow the tips below to figure out if the cooking oil is a healthier option:
Tip 1: Saturated fats should ideally make up no more than 35% (35g per 100ml of oil).
The NIP above shows the amount of saturated fats as 18.6g per 100ml. That means saturated fats take up only 18.6%, putting cooking oil in the healthier range.
Tip 2: Trans fats should ideally take up less than 0.5g per 100ml of oil.
The NIP shows Cooking Oil A containing only 0.4g of trans fats per 100ml, within the healthier range.
Tip 3: Unsaturated fats make up 50% or more of the oil (50g per 100ml of oil).
In this NIP, total unsaturated fats is calculated by adding 36.0g (monounsaturated fats) to 35.9g (polyunsaturated fats). This equates to 71.9g or 71.9% of the oil, making Cooking Oil A a healthier option.
Tip 4: When in doubt, check if the oil has a Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS).
Keep your eyes peeled for HCS labels commonly found on healthier cooking oils. In fact, Cooking Oil A would have been easily distinguished by its “Lower in Saturated Fat” identifier.
Consuming too much healthy fats still results in a high calorie intake. The NIP can help you check if you have exceeded your daily calorie intake.
With careful use of the NIP, it’s easier to consume balanced meals in moderation to help you manage your weight healthily. Learn more about the NIP here.