Over the years, our perception of what constitutes a serve, or a portion, of food has been slowly increasing. The result of this is that we are eating more and more! Increasing portion size is one of the easiest ways that extra energy (kilojoules) sneak into our diet because often we don't realise we are eating more than we should.
How large portion sizes affect us
Rising obesity rates over the past few decades have paralleled with the increase in portion sizes. From mega muffins to super-sized salads, both healthy and unhealthy portions have grown in size. And more food equals more kilojoules.
Perfect Portions Adults
A simple way to serve a well portioned meal for adults is to divide the plate into three sections (see image below) and dish up accordingly.
- Protein = ¼ of the plate. Choose lean cuts of meat. Trim visible fat and take skin off chicken.
- Carbohydrates= ¼ of the plate. Choose low GI or wholegrain varieties
- Vegetables = ½ of the plate. One thing we don’t eat enough of is vegetables. Choose different kinds and colours.
Perfect Portions Kids
Kids nutritional needs are different than adults and this is reflected in the amounts of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables required in a meal. A quick way to serve up a well portioned plate for children is to divide the plate into three sections of equal size (see image below) and dish up accordingly.
- Protein = 1/3 of the plate. Choose lean cuts of meat. Trim visible fat and take skin off chicken.
- Carbohydrates= 1/3 of the plate. Choose low GI or wholegrain varieties
- Vegetables = 1/3 of the plate. One thing we don’t eat enough of is vegetables. Choose different kinds and colours.
Getting the balance right on your family’s plate at meal time is a key factor in tackling portion distortion. For more information on serve sizes of individual foods and recommended serves per day for adults and children visit,
http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day 1. Ledikwe JH, Ello-Martin JA & Rolls BJ. Portion sizes and the obesity epidemic. J Nutr 2005;135(4):905-909. 2. Wansink B, van Ittersum K & Painter JE. Ice cream illusions bowls, spoons and self-served portion sizes. Am J Prev Med 2006;31(3):240-243.