There are a lot of choices in the grocery store. It’s a great thing, but sometimes an overwhelming task is to figure out what food is good and what food is bad. A lot of times I think that certain food groups are used as scapegoats and labeled as “bad food”. We see this a lot in fad diets – eliminate carbs, eliminate all red meat, eliminate anything that tastes good at all! I think where I have gone wrong many times, is not in the food choices I make, but rather the portion sizes that I serve up. I found a really fun way to make sure that you are getting the right portion size, if this is something that troubles you as well.
- A serving of meat should be the size of a deck of cards.
- A serving of pasta or rice should be the size of a tennis ball.
- A serving of peanut butter is no larger than a ping pong ball.
- A serving of vegetables should be the size of a baseball.
- The right size for a potato (baked and not loaded!) is the size of your computer mouse.
- Do you love pancakes? They should be no larger than a CD!
- Need a cheese fix? A serving of cubed cheese should be limited to the equivalence of 6 dice.
I thought this was a fun way to equate portion sizes to every day items that we can all visualize. I’m a believer in the food pyramid. I loved cooking with my mom and she taught me about the food pyramid very early in life. There are great references and activities with the food pyramid offered by the USDA.