Portions and Calories
Our portions all across America are getting bigger and bigger. Ads depicting oversized food servings are everywhere. Our restaurants routinely serve extra large portions to keep their customers coming back. Even the sizes of the dishes, cups and glasses we use are helping to promote our eating larger and larger portions.

It is no surprise that portion size is contributing to the high rate of overweight people in this country.

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Portion Distortion Quiz
If you don’t believe that portion size gotten bigger and bigger over the past 20 years, just have a look at the Portion Distortion Quiz!

Path Finder
The Portion Plate
To help us get a more realistic view of what a portion should look like, some who work in the health professions are encouraging us to take a look at something called the Portion Plate.

The portion plate offers us some important guidelines to follow for a healthy meal:
  • ½ of your plate should be fruits and vegetables
  • ¼ should be made up of whole grains
  • ¼ should be devoted to lean protein

Please click on the Portion Plate you can find on this page. The plate offers a good guide to follow.
(Here is the
link for the Plate:)

Path Finder-1
Portions Chart
Our notion of what constitutes a single serving has been altered considerably given all the ads that we regularly see telling us about a variety of “great bargain sizes” that are available to us for an amazingly low price. So what does a single portion look like and how can we help our kids get a more realistic view of one serving.

Have a look at the Nick Jr.
Portions Chart for Kids 6+
nick jr portions.pdf
Pouring A Serving of Cereal
How often does your child pour him or herself a serving of cereal? You might be interested to see what a group of children considered as “one serving.”

Consumer Reports (Posted September 2008) studied how 91 children ages 6-16 poured their cereal. They found on average that these kids poured themselves 50-65% more than the suggested serving size for the 3 or the 4 tested cereals. The shocking thing is that these kids ate the entire amount of, for example, the Frosted Flakes that they poured for themselves, they would get about 18 grams of sugar per serving.

Check out the video of the kids pouring cereal for themselves along with the rest of the report
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So What’s to be Done!
There are lots of tips out there about how to deal with the portion size issue. Two of our favorites are the following:

How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls:

Tips from Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating
Cornell professor Brian Wansink, author of the book Mindless Eating (2006) has conducted many studies of eating behavior that have led him to conclude we eat with our eyes. Even when we’re not really hungry, we can be easily persuaded to try another bite or have another helping. This article summarizes some tips from Wansink to help us out before we continue our mindless eating:
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