Food portions are larger than ever these days—usually much more than we need. Choose your starting portion size by relating food to everyday items.

  • Meat or Fish: A serving of meat, fish, or poultry is equal to a deck of cards.
  • Fruits & Veggies: A serving of fruit or vegetables is about the size of a tennis ball.
  • Nut Butter or Salad Dressing: A serving of nut butter or salad dressing is about the size of a ping-pong ball.
  • Toddler Portions: For toddlers, the right portion size is the size of the palm of their hand.

Tips to help keep your portions right-sized.

  • 1 Portion: Start with one portion of each food on your plate. If you are still hungry, you can always get more.
  • MyPlate Model: Fill half of your plate with veggies or fruit, ¼ with protein, and ¼ with starch, preferably a whole grain.
  • Check Package: Check the serving size on packaged foods for guidance on portion size
  • Sit Down: Eat your food while sitting down and using a plate or bowl. Avoid eating directly out of packages.
  • Eat Regularly: Eat regularly throughout the day; this helps keep you from getting too hungry.
  • Use Smaller Plates: Serve food on smaller plates.
  • Restaurants: At restaurants, ask for a lunch-size portion, split your meal, or box up half to take home.
  • Savor Your Food: Slow down, start with smaller portions, savor your food, and eat only until you are satisfied instead of “cleaning your plate”.
  • Be A Role Model: Role model the behaviors that you want your children to develop.


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