Do you know the number one issue that so many moms can blame for their extra pounds? Stop staring at your kids – they’re not it. It’s portion control.
So few of us are ever educated about proper portion sizes. Sure, we may have seen the food wheel, then rectangle and now pyramid, but what does 2-3 servings of dairy a day really look like? Odds are, most of us looking in the mirror with a sour face aren’t aware that we’re really over eating, compared to what our bodies need.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Dairy – A single serving of is equal to:
- 1 cup of milk or other fortified dairy alternative
- 3/4 cup of yogurt
- 1.5 ounces of cheese – about the size of four dice
Meat – One serving is:
- 75 grams (just under 3 ounces) or half a cup of cooked meat or seafood – about the size of a deck of cards
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup of cooked beans – around a half-tennis ball
- 2 tbsp (level, not heaping) of nut butter
Grains – Aim for a serving equal to:
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta or couscous – about tennis ball-sized
- 1 slice of bread, or 1/2 a bagel, pita or tortilla
- 30 grams (about a 1/2 cup) or cold cereal, or 3/4 cup of hot cereal
Produce – ‘Eat the rainbow’, with more vegetables than fruit, in these serving sizes:
- 1 piece of fruit
- 1/2 cup of raw, canned, cooked or frozen vegetables or fruit or juice
- 1 cup of raw leafy veggies or salad
Does this sound complex? Let me illustrate – my typical pasta dinner. This dinner comes loaded with rice pasta, lentils, vegetables, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. My typical plate includes: 1 cup pasta, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 cup vegetables, 1/4 cup tomatoes and about 1/4 cup of lentils. In a single meal, I’ve gotten: 2 servings of grains, 2.5 servings of produce and 1/3 of a protein serving. That’s more than a third of my grains requirement for the day, and almost half my produce, just on one plate.
See how it can add up?
Find out how many servings you should be eating (and maybe your kids, too?), here