Portion Sizes at Home

The best place to learn correct portion sizes is at home
Portion Sizes at Home

The best place to learn correct portion sizes is at home. And the more familiar you are with adequate portion sizes there, the easier it is to estimate portion sizes when you're eating out.

Here's how to set up your home environment:

    Keep measuring tools handy. Set up your cooking/eating area so that measuring tools are easily available and in plain sight. Place measuring cups in the silverware drawer as a reminder to check portions now and then!

    Measure liquid and solids differently. There are different measuring systems for liquids and solids (i.e. for solids, 16 ounces equals one pound, and with liquids eight fluid ounces equals one fluid cup). The best tool for solid measure is a food scale or baking/dry measuring cups. For liquid measure, a clear glass or plastic measuring cup with cup- and fluid ounce-markings on the side gives additional room at the top so liquids won't spill over.

    Measure accurately. Whether you're using a tablespoon or cup, it should be leveled off. And the best measuring spoons and cups are ones that can be squared off for easy leveling.

    Note the actual size of your dinnerware and cups. Figure out what correct servings (for example, a three-ounce piece of chicken next to a one-cup serving of spinach) look like on your plates. Tip: If you have a smaller plate such as a salad or dessert plate, using it instead of a larger dinner plate might make you feel as if you're having more food.

    Store foods in individual serving sizes. After you buy bulk-size packages of food, portion out correct serving sizes. For example, if you purchase an extra large bag of pretzels, use plastic baggies to portion it into single servings. The same goes for large packages of poultry and meat – divide it into single servings right away for easy cooking or freezing.

    Check the actual serving size. When eating packaged foods or drinks, be aware that a package or bottle probably contains more than one serving, perhaps more than two. When cooking from recipes, be mindful of serving sizes and how many servings a recipe actually makes.

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