Portion Distortion

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Do your kids think eating healthy is boring? Not true! They can eat healthy and still enjoy their favorites like chips, cookies, and candy. All foods can fit. The trick is to teach them what a portion or serving is. Each food group on MyPlate has a recommended daily amount to eat to ensure you get the nutrient you need to stay healthy. It is important to know how much you are eating. To keep portions in check, use the nutrition facts on the label of all food products as a guide to determine the recommended serving size for the product.

As another handy tool to determine the recommended serving sizes of some of your favorite foods, use this portion size guide:

  • 1/2 cup fruit, vegetable, cereal, pasta or rice = small fist
  • 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine = the tip of your thumb
  • 3 ounces cooked meat, poultry or fish = a deck of cards
  • 4 small cookies (like vanilla wafers) = four checkers
  • 1 small baked potato = a computer mouse
  • 1 medium apple or orange = a baseball
  • 1 pancake or waffle = a music CD
  • 1 1/2 ounces of cheese = 6 dice
  • 1/2 cup grapes = light bulb

Remember: It isn’t always what you eat, but how much!