Controlling Portion Sizes at Home
Serving Vs Portion Sizes
- Serving and portion sizes are two terms that are used interchangeably, but actually have different meanings.
- Portions are the amount we choose to put on our plate.
- A serving is defined by the USDA as a specific amount of one food group.
- What a child puts on their plate may be larger or smaller than what the USDA My Plate has defined as a serving, and usually the portion is much larger than one serving.
Ways To Control Portions At Home
- You could measure and weigh your food but that becomes quickly impractical.
- You can teach your child to serve themselves smaller portions that are healthier and more in line with what a serving really is.
Controlling Portions At Mealtime
- Use a smaller plate
- Use smaller serving spoons
- Include water as part of a healthy meal
- You don’t have to eat all their food to have a healthy meal. Learning to listen to your internal hunger clock is part of learning proper portion control.
- Don’t be tempted to finish off leftover dinner the next day. Freeze leftovers as single servings so that you can pull it out of the freezer when you need a quick, healthy meal for your family.
- Take one scoop from each of the food groups.
- Have fun coloring their plate with foods that have color. You’ll see that colorful foods tend to be the healthier foods.
- Cut lean meats into small portions before placing them on the table.
Controlling Portions During Snacktime
- Limit snacks to specific snack time so kids will be hungry during mealtime.
- Learn what a serving size is for each snack and eat it off a plate instead of a bag.
- Measure out a serving size before multitasking, could possible not notice how much you are eating.