All Posts tagged portion

Serving Size vs. Portion Size : What’s the difference

Let’s look at some examples:

You eat 2 waffles for breakfast

  • One serving from the Food Guide Pyramid is equal to 1 waffle.
  • So that means if you ate 2 waffles, you also ate 2 servings from the grains group.

Here are some other common portions and their respective Food Guide Pyramid serving sizes:

Common portions that people eat Food Guide Pyramid Serving Size Total servings per Food Guide Pyramid
1 bagel ½ bagel = 2 servings
1 English Muffin ½ English muffin = 2 servings
1 Hamburger bun ½ bun = 2 servings
1 cup cooked rice ½ cup cooked rice = 2 servings
1 cups cooked pasta ½ cup cooked pasta = 2 servings

In each food group, look at these different Food Guide Pyramid examples indicating 1 serving each. How do these compare with what your portions look like?

  • Grains
  • 1 slice bread, waffle or pancake
  • ½ bagel, hamburger bun, or English muffin
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta or cereal
  • 1 cup ready to eat cereal
  • Vegetables
  • ¾ cup (6 fluid ounces) 100% vegetable juice
  • 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables or salad
  • ½ cup cooked or canned vegetables
  • Fruits
  • 1 medium apple, orange or banana
  • ½ cup fruit (canned, cooked or raw)
  • ½ cup (4 fluid ounces) 100% fruit juice
  • ¼ cup dried fruit (raisins, apricots or prunes)
  • Milk
  • 1 cup milk or yogurt
  • 2 ounces processed cheese (American)
  • 1 ½ ounces natural cheese (cheddar)
  • Meat and Beans
  • 1 tablespoons of peanut butter counts as 1 ounce
  • ¼ cup nuts or 20-24 almonds
  • 1 medium size egg
  • 2-3 ounces of poultry, meat or fish (2-3 servings)
  • ¼ cup of beans

Tips on how to visually estimate 1 serving size

 

Grains Group
1 oz. bread or 1 slice of bread CD case
10 French fries Deck of cards
½ cup cooked rice or pasta Computer mouse
Vegetables Group
1 cup raw leafy vegetables Baseball
½ cup vegetables Computer mouse
Fruit Group
1 medium fruit such as an apple or an orange Tennis ball or the size of your fist
¾ cup juice 6 ounce juice can (1 ½ servings)
½ cup chopped or canned fruit Computer mouse
Milk and Milk Products Group
1 ounce cheese Pair of dice or the size of your thumb
1 ½ ounces cheddar cheese 2 (9-volt) batteries
1 cup of milk 8 ounce carton of milk
8 ounces yogurt Baseball or tennis ball
Meat & Beans Group
3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry Deck of cards (3 servings)
2 tablespoons of peanut butter Ping–pong ball (2 servings)
½ cup cooked beans Baseball (2 servings)

Try these ideas to help control portions at home:

  •  When your child is hungry and looking for a snack take the amount of food that is equal to one serving (refer to the Nutrition Facts label) and have your child eat it off a plate instead of eating it out of the box or bag.
  • Don’t be tempted to finish off leftover dinner the next day. Freeze leftovers as single servings so that you can pull it out of the freezer when you need a quick, healthy meal for your family.
  • Be prepared and have emergency snacks on hand if your family is running late and needs a quick snack. Make your own snack bags for traveling by reading the Nutrition Facts label and placing a single serving size into plastic bags.
  • Have your child measure out a single serving of food before sitting in front of the television or doing other activities that can distract him/her from realizing how much food is being consumed. This way your child will know exactly how much he or she is eating!

Serving sizes on food labels are sometimes different from the Food Guide Pyramid servings. For example, the serving size for beverages is measured in cups or fluid ounces. Whether it is milk, juice, or soda the nutrition facts labeling guidelines is 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces, which equals 1 serving size. However, the Food Guide Pyramid serving size for milk is 1 cup, but for juice it is ¾ cup.

So, even though the amount of 1 serving on nutrition facts labels and the Food Guide Pyramid may be slightly different it is still a great tool to help you and your child decide if you are getting enough or too much food each day. Encourage your child to get familiar with the serving sizes because smart eating is an essential part of growing and staying healthy!

Source: Nourish Interactive.

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Tips for Making Healthy Choices

Want to eat well, but find it a challenge when you have to eat and run?

Luckily, many “fast food” restaurants are making it easier with healthier menu options. These tips will help you choose wisely!

Downsize it

Super-sized portions usually cost only a little extra, but can pack a whopping nutritional blow. Research shows the larger the serving in front of us, the more we tend to eat.Keep in mind: double the portion = double the calories.

Compare the Calories,
Fat and Sugar
Total Calories Fat
(grams)
Sugar
(grams)
Double patty hamburger
with dressing or mayonnaise
+ large fries + large drink
1570 66 91
Double patty hamburger
+ large fries + large soft drink
1200 40 90
Single patty hamburger
+ small fries + smll soft drink
620 18 47
Single patty hamburger
+ side salad* + 2% milk
435 16 23

* with low fat dressing

Tip: If you can't bear to pass on a deal, consider splitting a large portion with someone else. Smaller serving sizes are especially important for young children.

Watch the “extras”

Those little “extras” like salad dressings, sandwich sauces, mayo, spreads nd gravy can add a lot of fat and calories to your meal. Choose:

  • veggies as a tasty garnish for sandwiches
  • lower-fat condiments like ketchup, mustards and relish
  • lower-fat salad dressings and use only a small amount

Design it yourself

Looking for more ways to keep the calories and fat in check? Want to boost your nutrient and fibre intake? Made-to-orderoptions are a great solution. When you order a sandwich, burger, wrap, salad or pizza, opt for:

Be balanced

Healthy eating is a matter of balancing your food choices over time. So if you overindulge at one meal, try to make healthier choices at your next meals.

Tip: Change your order to add some variety. Take your taste buds on a global adventure with sushi, shwarma or stir-fry.

Go for the grill

Grilled foods are usually much lower in fat and calories than deep fried foods. Go for grilled meats, poultry, fish and veggies rather than deep fried. For example, a battered and deep fried chicken sandwich may have more than twice as much fat as a grilled chicken sandwich.

Salad savvy

Not all salads are created equal. The dressings can make them extra high in fat and calories. For example, a chicken Caesar salad with dressing can have about as many calories and as much fat as a deep fried chicken sandwich.

Drink smart

Large servings of soft drink and other sweetened beverages provide empty calories. A large soft drink typically contains about a third of a cup (85 mL) of sugar. Shakes can be very high in fat and calories too. Quench your thirst with water, milk, 100% fruit juices, fruit smoothies and vegetable cocktails.

Tip: Add milk to tea and coffee instead of cream to save calories and fat. Keep in mind that flavoured syrups and whipped cream added to some coffees and teas may net you as much as 200 to 300 calories or more.

Breakfast basics

Make wise breakfast choices to give you the energy and nutrients you need for a great start to your day. Choose at least 3 of the 4 food groups.

Tip: Try to limit higher fat options like doughnuts, pastries, muffins, croissants, bacon, sausages and fried hash browns.

Fill up on fibre

Make fibre-rich choices more often: whole grain breads; vegetables and fruit; beans, lentils and chickpeas (in chili, salads, and falafel); nuts and seeds.

Desserts

Think fresh and light when it comes to dessert. Fresh fruit, frozen yogurts, ice milk and fruit sherbets are nutritious alternatives to baked or fried goods and ice creams. And be portion wise, some large cookies may add as much as 400 or more calories.

Get the facts

Ask for nutrition facts at the restaurant. Compare the calories, fat, sugar, fibre and key nutrients – you may be surprised!

Source: Dietitians of Canada. Reproduced with permission.

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