2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
Everyone knows Canada's Food Guide, which tells us to eat so many servings of one food, and so many of another. But, does everyone know what a portion is?
Indeed, it is not always easy to assess the quantity of food to put on our plate, and even less on that of our children! On the one hand, this difficulty comes from the fact that our respective appetites are not all identical and, therefore, we have a different perception of quantities.
Super size portions
Furthermore, it is estimated that in the last forty years, average portions have doubled, sometimes even tripled or quadrupled! Obviously, the situation is much more dramatic with our neighbors to the south: nevertheless, on this side of the border, we also allow ourselves to be charmed by these gargantuan portions. Just look at the size of the individual soda or juice bottles. A serving of juice is equivalent to 125 ml and yet many packages offer much higher amounts, although it is advised to take no more than one serving of juice per day. Indeed, a 370 ml bottle is equivalent to three servings of fruit!
Anotherexample: muffins in the market are huge, buckets of popcorn sold at the cinema can hold up to 16 cups of corn (compared to 3 cups in the 1970s), children's ice cream cones are the equivalent of a regular portion… This means that, at the end of the day, we have often eaten much more than what the Canada's Food Guide recommends!
But what is a portion?
This is why it is important to define what a portion of a given food corresponds to. Of course, each food has its own nutritional value, but there is still a standard that it is best to respect.
And for the children? Rejoice: the portion stays pretty much the same as yours. Only, children should eat fewer portions than an adult per day. On the Canada's Food Guide site, you will find a long list of foods calculated in "serving size". But a good trick to quickly estimate portions is to use your hand!
Vegetables and fruits
A portion of fruit or vegetable, in ml, is between 125 and 250 ml, depending on the food. But, as a quick guide, trust your fist: a serving should be about the same size as this one, or a hockey puck!
Children 2 to 3 years old should eat 4 servings a day.
Between 4 and 8 years old, we eat 5servings.
Between 9 and 13 years old, we eat 6 servings.
Teenagers 14 to 18 years old, 7-8 servings (depending on gender).
Same thing for grain products: one serving is the size of your fist, or the size of a tennis ball. A slice of bread counts as one serving: that is to say that a sandwich contains two servings of cereal. And a club sandwich… 3!
Children 2 to 3 years old should eat 3 servings a day.
Between 4 and 8 years old, we eat 4 servings.
Between 9 and 13 years old, we eat6 servings. Teenagers from
14 to 18 years old, 6-7 servings (depending on sex).
Milk and Alternatives
For milk and alternatives, it's more complex. Thus, 1 serving of milk (or fortified soy beverage) is twice the size of your fist (or 1 cup). For yogurt, it's once the size of your fist. For the cheese, it's the end of two fingers (4 dice to play).
Children 2 to 3 years old should eat 2 servings a day.
Between 4 and 8 years old, we eat 2 servings.
Between 9 and 13 years old, we eat3-4 servings. Teenagers from
14 to 18 years old, 3-4 servings.
Meat and Alternatives
A serving of meat or alternatives fits the palm of your hand.
Children 2 to 3 years oldshould eat 1 serving perday.
Between 4 and 8 years old, we eat 1 portion.
Between 9 and 13 years old, we eat 1-2 servings.
Teenagers 14 to 18 years old, 2-3 servings (depending on gender).
A normal plate…
So what is a normal portion? As we mentioned, appetites are different from person to person and from child to child. The important thing is not to overeat, never force yourself and vary your diet. Remember that the ideal plate, lunch and dinner, should be composed as follows:
- ¼ of your plate should be grain products
- ½ of your plate should be vegetables
- ¼ of your plate is taken up with meat.
We accompany the meal with a glass of milk, and we finish it all off with a piece of fruit! Bon appetit!