Appropriate Portion Sizes (C 1037-13)Download PDF
Stop Eating When Your Full: Promote healthy eating habits by encouraging your family to stop eating when they are full.
To encourage your family to stop eating when they feel full, it can be helpful to start by serving appropriate portion sizes.
An easy way to determine a serving size is by comparing the size of the food to your hand.
- Protein (meat, poultry, fish): size of your palm
- Cheese: size of your thumb
- Fruits/Vegetables: size of your fist
- Pretzels/Chips/Popcorn: size of your cupped hand
Appropriate portion sizes for a child are comparable to the same parts of the child's hand. This portioning may not always be exact, but it a simple way to approximate.
You can help your family learn to avoid over-eating. Encourage small portions. Explain that they can have more if they still feel hungry. This helps your child learn how much to eat before becoming full.
*USDA. (2011). MyPlate: Health and Nutrition Information for Preschoolers. Retrieved from www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers.html
*Children's Hospital of Orange County. (2012). Community Outreach: Healthy Eating. Retrieved from www.choc.org/community/
Family Fun Activity: Cereal Comparisons
Use this easy activity to help your child learn.
What You Need:
- 2 Bowls
- 1/2 Cup measuring cup
What To Do:
- Invite your child to join you in an experiment
- With your child, pour a bowl of cereal (of the size you would typically use)
- Talk to your child about portions and serving sizes
- Ask your child how he or she thinks that bowl of cereal compares with the recommended serving
- For preschool-aged children, a recommended portion is 1/2 cup
- Allow your child to use the measuring cup to pour a serving size of cereal into the other bowl
- Talk to your child about how the two bowls of cereal compare
This is publication 13 out of 24 in the Eat Healthy, Be Active: Keeping Children Healthy at Home and School series. For more information visit www.eathealthybeactive.net