December 20, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter
Over-eating is one of the biggest problems in today’s society, whether it may be serving larger portions, or simply mindless eating leading to excessive servings. It is an unhealthy behavior that not only can lead to weight gain, but also serious health conditions. It’s first important to understand the difference between the two:
- Serving Size: A serving is a specific amount of food or drink that is defined by measurements (cups/ounces/tablespoons). The serving size on the Nutrition Facts Panel is considered the recommended serving, and is the basis for all other nutrition information on the label.
- Portion Size: A portion is the amount of food that ends up on the plate. Think of this as the actual amount of food you choose to eat at all meals and snacks. Portions can be bigger or smaller than the recommended serving size.
One effective and relatable way to explain portions to children is to compare them to visualize objects that are familiar and easy to recognize. Before they eat or drink something, they can think of the relevant object and choose a portion that matches its size.
Food Portion Size Is About the Size of….
Bread 1 oz. or 1 regular slice CD cover
Dry cereal 1 oz. or 1 cup Baseball
Cooked cereal/rice/pasta 1 oz. or 1/2 cup 1/2 baseball
Pancake/waffle 1 oz. or 1 small (6 in.) CD
Bagel/hamburger bun 1 oz. or 1/2 piece Hockey puck
Cornbread 1 piece Bar of soap
Orange,apple,pear 1 small (2 1/2 in. diameter) Tennis ball
Raisins 1/4 cup Golf ball
Baked potato 1 medium Computer mouse
Vegetables, chopped/salad 1 cup Golf ball
Fat-free/low-fat milk/yogurt 1 cup Baseball
Cheese 1 1/2 oz. natural, 2 oz. processed Matchbox car
Ice cream 1/2 cup 1/2 baseball
Lean beef/poultry 3 oz. Deck of cards
Grilled/baked fish 3 oz. Small envelope
Peanut butter 2 tablespoons Ping-pong ball
Tub of margarine 1 teaspoon Postage stamp
Oil/salad dressing 1 teaspoon 16-oz water bottle cap
For additional information or educational tools, ADA’s My Plate is a great child-friendly source.