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Getting #HealthyTogether: Portion Control

Your plate of information is nearly empty, there’s just one mouthful left, but wait, how big was the portion on your plate in the first place? Fear not, because this tasty titbit in our Getting #HealthyTogether series covers everything you need to know about healthy portions.

Healthy portion sizes differ with age. The amount an adult should eat, certainly isn’t the same as what your children should be eating, so let’s start with the grown-ups. Here’s a quick guide on recommended portion sizes for a variety of different foods, where one potion equals:
• Meat, poultry and fish = 80g (or the size of a pack of playing cards)
• Cheese = 30g (or the size of a small match box)
• Salad vegetables = 80g (the same size as a cereal bowl)
• Green or root vegetables = 3 heaped tablespoons
• Potatoes (boiled) = 2 medium potatoes
• Rice (cooked) = 3 heaped tablespoons
• Pasta (cooked) = 3 heaped tablespoons
• Peas, beans and lentils = 3 heaped tablespoons

Now let’s take a look at portion sizes for the little ones. Children really only need portions that match their age – a five year old needs less than a 10 year old and a ten year old needs less than an adult. Here are some handy tips to make sure they get the right amount and aren’t over-fed:
• Make a fist
Look at the size of your child’s fist compared to yours. Not only are their fists, hands and feet smaller than yours, their stomach is too. So when you are serving up, remember to give your children smaller amounts of food than adults. It will still fill them up, just not ‘til they’re bursting.
• Clean plates
We all love to see clean plates coming back from our kids. Give them a chance of finishing their food by giving them a portion that matches their size to begin with.
• Don’t nag them to eat up
We’ve all done it and our parents did it to us. But it’s healthier to serve them a child sized portion and if they’re still hungry, let them ask for more. Make sure they’re not filling up on snacks as they will be more likely to eat well at meal times.
• Watch packaging sizes
Many foods and drinks (like cans of sugary drinks) are packaged for adults and for sharing. Don’t automatically give it all to a child, try saving some for later, or dividing it out – it’s better for them and will save money too.

For more tips and ideas on staying fit and healthy, enrol at one of our Healthy Together courses. Find out when and where they are next being held by contacting the Project Co-ordinator, Debbie Boulter on or give her a call on 01792 556561

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