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Myth 12: The Portion of Food or Drink You're Served Equals One Serving

Pediatric Fitness

Myth 12: The Portion of Food or Drink You're Served Equals One Serving

There are many misconceptions about proper nutrition and exercise. Nutritionists from the Pediatric Fitness Clinic explore different myths and misconceptions, the truth behind them, and offer suggestions for what you can do instead.

Myth: The portion of food or drink you’re served equals one serving.

Truth: A served portion or serving is not always the right amount of food. The amount of food or drink a person needs is based on their height, weight, age, gender and activity level.

Build a balanced plate based on the MyPlate graphic. Choose at least three foods from different food groups at a meal.Portion, or serving, sizes usually vary based on who is serving the food. It can be tempting to overeat, especially if a large portion of food is served, or suggested on the package.

Try This Instead

Check out the serving size guide at ChooseMyPlate.gov. Build a balanced plate based on the MyPlate graphic. By having at least three food groups on a plate, a person will be less tempted to overeat one food group.

Parental Advice

  • Let your child practice building their own plate and practice the division of responsibilities. Parents get to decide what, when, and where a child eats. It is the child's role to decide how much. Most children are great self-regulators.
  • Role-model healthy portions and a well-balanced plate. Try to make your plate one-quarter or one-half vegetables.
  • Abandon the clean plate club. Allow your child to eat to satisfaction (not always fullness) and encourage seconds of vegetables.