Parenting Positive Kids

Easy Ways to Remember Portion Sizes
September 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM

As we entered the school doors to kick-off another school year, it was hard not to miss it. Every kid in my daughter's first grade class had grown at least a few inches over the summer. Chatting with other moms, it seems all of our children had three things in mind during their vacations: growing, playing, and eating.

Sure, growing kids need more food, but doctors and professional nutritionists will tell you that doesn't mean piling gigantic mounds of food onto their plates. We still need to dole out a proper portion size. Not only is it important so we know how much they are eating, it also teaches them -- in this era of mega-sized portions and "bigger is better" mantras -- an awareness of what the right serving size looks like.

I've found it's so easy to get off track with this element of dinner prep. I can't remember what four ounces of meat looks like, and I definitely don't have time to break out the food scale to weigh each chicken breast. That's why I love those measurement guides that give you an everyday item to guesstimate a proper portion. Not only is it easy for me to use, Kiddo can use it too. We've been playing the "What is equal to what?" game lately, re-enforcing good serving size habits for her and me. Here's the main list I have tacked on the fridge:

1/4 cup of anything is about the size of a large egg

1 cup of most things is the size of a baseball

1/2 cup of cooked pasta or rice - a computer mouse

1/2 cup of beans - a light bulb

1/2 cup of veggies - an ice-scream scooper

2 tbsp of butter or peanut butter or mayo - a Ping-Pong ball

2-3 oz of fish - a checkbook

2-3 oz of meat or chicken - a deck of cards

2 oz of cheese - a mini pile of 3 dominoes

How do you remember the proper serving sizes? Share your tricks to "eyeball" that scoop or slice!



  • pootersmomi
    September 27, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    This is a great reference list.

  • DNewman
    by DNewman
    September 27, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    These are good! I know the deck of cards correlation with proteins. Didn't know the others.

  • EmptyNestMama
    September 27, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    This is great! I'd like a copy of your list!

  • EmptyNestMama
    September 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Oh and I don't know portion sizes well so I weigh with my biggest loser scale! =)

  • lalasmama2007
    September 27, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Good list!  I just wing it.

  • johnny4ever
    October 4, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    WE use a smaller plate

  • johnny4ever
    October 4, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Great info!

  • goddess99
    October 4, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    We don't portion control but this is great info for those who do.

  • Bmat
    by Bmat
    October 4, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    I have gone by the meat and deck of cards for a long time. I didn't know about the others, though, thank you for the chart!

  • matt_sara_mom
    October 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    I have a by age list on my fridge for the toddlers and I am one who has smaller plates and I only fill the middle part to keep up with smaller portions. After measuring out proper portions for months I am pretty good at eyeballing how much is too much.

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