Portion Distortion

We’re eating more than we should!


American-style muffins have increased in size by more than 50% from 85g in 1993 to a whopping 130g by 2013!  Chocolate bars and crisps all come in various sizes with often the larger ones being better value or even cheaper.


Plate sizes have also been increasing.  From 8.5-inch in the 1960’s to 12-inch now.  This in energy terms is around an extra 1000Kcal (depending on the types of foods) compared with the smaller 8.5-inch plate.  No wonder we are getting it so wrong when it comes to portion sizes.  Look at your plate sizes at home and I bet many of you will be surprised.   


Here is a quick reference guide of suggested plate sizes for children and adults:


          7 – 12 mths        Bowl: 5" / 13cm

         1 – 6 yrs               Plate: 7" / 18cm

         6 - 11 yrs             Plate: 8" / 20cm

         12 – 18 yrs +:      Plate: 10" / 25cm

         Pudding:              Bowl: 10cm - 12cm


Try and get familiar with portion sizes of common foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, meat, fish and pulses. For fruit and vegetables a portion is roughly the amount you can fit in the palm of your (or your child’s) hand. There are online resources to help such as the infant and toddler forum: www.infantandtoddlerforum.org


So to eat the right amount:


            Look at your plates


            Know your portions sizes


            Go for the fun size/snack packs of occasional foods.