How to build a healthy dinner

Dinner time provides a great opportunity to fill up on great nutrients, especially if you’ve had a busy day at work or with the family. Our mix and match guide will help you create delicious and healthy dinners.

Dinner offers us a chance to be really creative with food adding different ingredients with essential nutrients and trialling out new and interesting combinations of foods. Cooking dinner can also be a really relaxing day to wind down after a hectic day at work. Put on the radio and enjoy the chance to build a nutritious meal.

With any meal you build, try to balance it with half fruit and/or vegetables, a quarter good protein and a quarter complex carbohydrate.

Mix and match dinners

Mix and match one of each of these ingredients to build your healthy dinner, or swap in your own favourite healthy foods:

Proteins (25%): Eggs, gammon, turkey breast, cottage cheese, hummus
Carbohydrates (25%): Wholegrain wrap, sweet potato, wholegrain rice, lentils
Fruit and vegetables (50%): Green leaf salad, cauliflower, mixed peppers, beetroot.

Click the image below to view our Mix and Match Wheel:

With these ingredients you can make lots of great healthy dinners, here’s some examples… 

Turkey fajitas

  1. Slice turkey breasts (one per person), mixed peppers and onions into strips
  2. Add to a hot pan with two tablespoons of rapeseed oil and stir occasionally, letting the turkey cook through
  3. Mix together chilli powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder in a small bowl and add to the pan
  4. Cook for a further minute then serve in a wholemeal wrap.

Gammon and lentil stew

  1. Add one cup of diced, cooked gammon and one cup of lentils to a pot with a litre of vegetable stock
  2. Add whichever vegetables you like (butternut squash, spinach or cabbage go well) and cook covered for a minimum of an hour
  3. Season to taste and serve with cauliflower florets.

Sweet potato with cottage cheese

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Pop one medium sized sweet potato per person in a roasting dish and prick with a fork before putting in the oven
  3. Bake for 45 minutes then take out and slice in half (watch your fingers!)
  4. Spoon two tablespoons of cottage cheese in to each potato and drizzle with some balsamic dressing
  5. Serve with some green salad. Swap cottage cheese for hummus as a vegan or dairy free option.

Wind down before bed

Why not sip on some hot milk, camomile tea, peppermint tea or hot lemon and honey drink before bedtime? The soothing qualities of these drinks will help you to drift off to sleep.

Last updated Tuesday 20 September 2022

First published on Tuesday 27 November 2018