Creating Kidney-Friendly Meals

Learn what foods and portions make a kidney-friendly plate!

When creating a healthy meal, it’s important to know what foods and portions to put on your plate. Focus on incorporating colorful foods (fruit and vegetables with vitamins and minerals), foods that will give you energy (animal or plant proteins), and foods with fiber to keep you full (healthy grains).  

Building the Perfect Plate 

You can put together a yummy, kidney-friendly meal in a snap with these four easy steps:

1. Download our Kidneys in the Kitchen eBook (using the form on this page). On pages 8-9 you’ll find a handy kidney-friendly grocery shopping guide. 

2. Fill ½ of your plate with fruits and vegetables from the grocery guide.  

3. Fill ¼ of your plate with a lean source of protein from the grocery guide.

4. Fill ¼ of your plate with a healthy grain option from the grocery guide.

Somatus Dietitian Tip: Aim to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables with each meal – each color has a different health benefit! Always discuss your personal diet needs with your doctor or Somatus dietitian.

Example Meal: 

  • 1 cup side salad (vegetable)  
  • 1 cup apples/berries (fruit)  
  • 3 oz salmon (lean protein)  
  • ½ cup whole grain rice (healthy grain)  


What about Snacks? 
Follow the same simple steps when creating a healthy snack. For a balanced snack, focus on having at least two of the three food types on your plate: fruits and vegetables, animal or plant proteins, and fiber. 

Example Snack: 

  • 1 small apple (fruit)  
  • 1 tbsp nut butter (protein) 

Picking the Perfect Portion 

When building your plate, it’s important to be familiar with appropriate portion sizes of foods. It can be easy to misjudge how much or how little a portion should be. Use this guide to help! 

Baseball or fist of hand = 1 cup serving 

Appropriate serving size for cooked or raw vegetables, fruits or fruit juice, yogurt, milk, and cereal flakes. 

Tennis ball or scooped handful = ½ cup serving  

Appropriate serving size for rice, pasta, quinoa, beans, lentils, dried fruits, and ice cream. 

Deck of cards or palm of hand = 3 oz portion  

Appropriate serving size for chicken, beef, fish, other meats, and tofu. 

Size of your thumb = 1 tbsp 

Appropriate serving size for nut butters, cooking oils, butter or margarine, dressings, and mayo. 

Somatus Dietitian Tip: Always be sure to check the “serving size” on the food label. Some serving sizes may be smaller than you think! Check out our blog on How to Read a Food Label 

For more Kidneys in the Kitchen info, Click here.

The information contained here is for educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you read here.

Thank you!

Learn more about the Somatus healthy living program.

We’re here to answer your questions anytime.
Call us at (855) 851-8354 (TTY: 711).