If there is one piece of kitchenware I use for every meal, it’s my white shallow bowl from Sur La Table. Yes, the main reason for buying this bowl was to take aesthetically pleasing photos, but it also is my go-to dish for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner.

Besides the basic yogurt parfait bowl, I love making power bowls. These bowls are über-nutritious because they combine complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats and nutrients from colorful vegetables.

So apparently – after doing a bit of research – I found that healthy bowls are one of the new trends for 2016 (RIP, kale 2015). Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why? What makes a bowl so much better than a plate? For those who don’t like their food touching, I can see how a bowl can be a problem. However, there are a lot of benefits to eating out of bowls.

They help control portions


Photo courtesy of @shisodelicious on Instagram

Choosing a bowl, your food looks condensed instead of spread out as if it was on a plate and, therefore, makes it seem like you have more food. You can also choose the bowl size depending on how hungry you are (thanks, Goldilocks).

The Food and Brain Lab at Cornell University found that large plates can skew your perception of how much food you actually have on your plate. On the contrary, by using smaller bowls and plates, you are more susceptible to reducing the amount of food you put on your plate.

They are super versatile


Photo by Julia Liang

Want some breakfast? Açaí smoothie bowl. Lunch? Power bowl. Din-din? Make a zoodle bowl. See, so many options and only one dish.

They help create a balanced meal


Photo courtesy of simplyquinoa on Instagram

Sometimes it is hard to create a meal that is 1. filling and 2. beneficial to your body. I like to build my bowl with whole grains, roasted veggies and an egg. The great thing about adding an egg to the bowl is that the yolk takes the place of any additional sauce or dressing (yay for cutting calories).

They are aesthetically pleasing


Photo by Daniel Schuleman

You know what they say – “Eye appeal is half the meal,” and they weren’t wrong. It’s important for a dish to not only taste good but to be colorful too. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the keys to eating healthy. The foods with the most colors contain the greatest amount of nutrients and health benefits, like this Middle Eastern Shakshuka dish.

They minimize the number dirty dishes


Photo by Abigail Wang

People these days are always trying to figure out ways to minimize the number of dirty dishes, but still create a delicious meal. Bowls are the perfect solution to this problem. There are so many recipes out there, just waiting to be tried.

They hold smoothies


Photo by Carolyn Chin

Who would have thought that a smoothie should be eaten out of a bowl? Smoothie bowls are perfect because you can top your already delicious smoothie with fresh fruit, granola, hemp or even chia seeds.

They prevent your food from spilling onto the table


Photo by Katherine Baker

If you’ve ever eaten a salad without making a mess on the table then props to you. Some of us, myself included, have trouble keeping the lettuce on the plate and need a bowl to prevent this spillage.