Kid-Sized Portions

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on March 8, 2018 · 0 comments

When kids are presented with very large portions and expected to clean their plates it overrides the natural feeling of fullness. This can lead to overeating because the feeling of satisfaction from eating is ignored. Instead, children are programmed to feel stuffed after a meal rather than satisfied. Belonging to the Clean Plate Club is not a virtue.

You do not have to measure and weigh every food your child eats to keep portions in line. Instead, use these visual cues to estimate a kid-sized portion. Teach them to your child as well because moderation is the cornerstone of healthy eating.

CD cover estimates a slice of bread, average pancake or waffle.

Baseball estimates 1 cup of dry cereal, cooked pasta or salad

Tennis ball estimates a ½ cup serving of cooked cereal, cooked rice, cooked vegetables or cut up fruit, or a medium-sized fresh fruit.

Computer mouse is the size of a medium baked potato

Golf ball estimates a ¼ cup of raisins or dried fruit, trail mix or nuts

 9-Volt battery can help estimate 2 tablespoons which is a serving of peanut butter, cheese, sour cream, dip, gravy or salad dressing

 Deck of cards estimates a 3 ounce serving of meat, fish or poultry, if sliced thin, estimate 3 ounces by the size of a checkbook.

If your child is truly hungry, let them ask for seconds and offer half of the original size as extras. This allows your child to control how much they eat. It is your job to offer healthy food, but it is their job to determine how much to eat.

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