Choose Right-Sized Portions

We enjoy food! That’s a fact. How much food to enjoy is the question.

Over the past 20 years, the servings have gotten bigger and bigger. We often think we need to eat more than what our body really needs.

Think about these foods …

20 years ago a soda was 6.5 ounces and 85 calories. Today, a soda is 20 ounces and 300 calories. 215 calorie increase!

20 years again a serving of French fries was 2.4 ounces and 210 calories. Today, French fries are 6.9 ounces and 610 calories. 400 calorie increase!

The hard news is that an extra 100 calories per day can lead to an extra 10 pounds of weight per year.

Learning what is the right portion to eat is a key way to keeping a healthy weight. Use the Nutrition Facts Label on the package to see what the adult serving size is for that food. Then measure out that portion before you put it on your plate or in your bowl.

Try these tips for eating right-size portions:

  • Add more fruits and vegetables to your meals. Put these on your plate first, using the MyPlate plan. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
  • Allow children to stop eating when full. Avoid having them clean their plate before leaving the table. A good rule is that parents put the good food on the table. Children choose what and how much they want to eat.
  • For snacks, offer fruit or vegetables. This keeps people from getting too hungry between meals. It also helps to eat less during the meal.
  • Turn off the cell phone, television, computer, etc. while eating.
  • Use smaller bowls, plates, cups, and serving spoons.
  • Break down the large bags of food into the right portions. Put portions of food into smaller bags. Then eat only what is in the smaller bag.

Source: NE Department of Health and Human Services, Nutrition and Activity for Health.

The holidays are coming and so is the chance to eat a lot of good food. Enjoy the food, but keep a watch on portions. Eating more slowly and savoring the taste of each bite can help in not eating too much. Remember to drink water during the day.

For more ideas on eating healthy and being active during the holidays, contact Four Corners for tips or a talk at your club. Phone: Toll free 1-877-337-3573. Email: info@fourcorners.ne.gov.