Portion Plates and Award Banquets

Last night we went to my son’s Swim Team award banquet.

You know how those things go, every family is required to send in an entre, a salad, drinks, or dessert. They can be disastrous for anyone who is trying to stick to a healthy diet because let’s face it when you are feeding a team of athletes, you often tend to go with quantity over quality.

The Portion Plate came with me to the dinner in order to show the kids how you could eat at an open buffet and still have a healthy dinner.

I stayed away from the many pasta dishes and instead filled up one half of the plate with a green salad. In one quarter of the plate I put homemade baked beans (which were out of this world) and some “Oriental” salad made from almonds, Ramen noodles and cut up vegetables. For the protein I took a small chicken salad roll.

The Portion Plate was smaller than the large white paper plates being used at the banquet and I noticed that my portions sizes were less than some of the others’ just a result of my trying to stay within the plate’s guidelines. Compared to some other people’s meals, it didn’t look like I had a large amount of food. I told myself that once I finished the proportioned meal I could go back for seconds on anything if I was still hungry. I’m not big on deprivation.

Although I was the only one in our family using the Portion Plate, the point was being made. I looked over at my kids’ plates and was pleased to see plenty of salad alongside a reasonable (and smaller than last year’s serving) of baked ziti. You could tell they were starting to see imaginary portion lines on their paper plates.

I ended up not eating the chicken salad roll and instead went back for seconds on the Oriental salad (I figured that the almonds and beans gave me enough protein for the evening). The thing to note here is that I wasn’t trying to limit or curb what I ate with regard to calories. If there had been food there that I wanted to eat I would have taken small amounts of it and I would have eaten it – as long as it fit within the portion lines. Instead of worrying about calories my goal was to eat a proportioned meal with at least one half of the amount coming from vegetables.

It turned out to be plenty of food and I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the night.

Once again I am struck by how much extra we eat just because we are so automated when we load food on our plate. If you give me a small plate I’ll fill it, if you give me a larger plate I’ll still fill it.

If you give me a Portion Plate, I’ll balance it.


I received samples of these products from the manufacturer for review. I received no other compensation for this post. My words and my opinions are my own.


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Filed under Portion Plates experiment, Teaching kids, The Family

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