The Balanced Latin Meals toolkit is perfect for healthcare providers who see a lot of Hispanic or Latino patients. Because Latinos are a diverse group, no one eating pattern will work for all Latinos! That’s why I’ve developed this toolkit to be customizable by the dietitian. The dietitian can assign a different number of servings of each food group to their clients. The dietitian may also swap out the food list for the alternative food list, and choose to use the plate method handout instead of the checklist.
I developed this approach to Latino heritage foods to accommodate some of the unique elements of Latin food culture. A checklist approach is used to account for the fact that many Latino foods are mixed dishes/stews. Additionally, major nutrients (carbs, protein, fat, fiber) are recommended versus food groups (whole grains) to account for the fact that many Latino staples are healthy complex carbs other than whole grains. This also helps accommodate staple foods like beans, which may fall under multiple food groups.
The food lists included help Latino clients understand what nutrients their cultural staples provide, such as corn masa, plantains, etc.
This toolkit includes a 13 page client facing guide that is customizable by the dietitian. Customizations include assigning recommended number of food groups per meal, as well as choice of food lists and an optional plate method alternative to the checklist.
The Balanced Latin Meals guide shows a balanced eating pattern designed specifically for the Latino and/or Hispanic community. This guide includes:
- Explanation of the 6 elements of a balanced meal
- Customizable checklist and tracking sheet
- Food lists inclusive of Latino heritage foods
- Explanation of portion sizes for carbs, protein, vegetables
- Increasing vegetables handout
- Complex carbs handout
- Example meals pictures
Plus 2 bonus handouts:
- Alternative food lists (encourages unsaturated fats, complex carbs, etc.)
- Plate method handout