Category Archives: Portion Plates experiment

Portion Plates – how did the kids do on their own?

The time has come, the Walrus said, or in this case, more accurately, the momma.

The time has come, the momma said, to speak of many things.
Of Portion plates and proper sizes,
Of vegetables and onion rings.

(My sincerest apologies to Lewis Carroll)

It was time to see if the kids had learned anything from using the Portion Plates in our house for the last month.

Yup, it was D-day (dine-day) we took the kids to a local restaurant called the Grand Buffet where there are miles and miles of different foods available. Meats, pastries, sushi, vegetables, fruits, and yes, even ice cream. Although my kids are pretty good eaters, in the past it was not unusual to see plates filled with French fries and watermelon slices. But because it’s rare that we bring all 6 kids to a restaurant, I usually don’t say much about what their choices are.

On the way over, I reminded the kids of why we were going. Remember the Portion Plates and how we used them for a month? I want to see what you’ve learned. That’s all I said, I didn’t remind them of the portion sizes or anything. Continue reading



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Easter Dinner on a Portion Plate, a walk and no bugs

For those of us living in New Hampshire, this past Sunday, Easter, was glorious.

Not a rain cloud in the sky, not a puddle in the roads. We sat outside in our short-sleeved shirts around a small fire soaking up the warmth and holiday company. Long snow hidden corners of yards were explored once again and moods were as bright as the sunshine.

And no bugs. Continue reading

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Portion Plates and Doritos – it can be done

We’re nearing the end of our family Portion Plate experiment. Last night at dinner, I asked my daughters to put my dinner on a Portion Plate. It was a soccer night so dinner was one of those “get it on the table quick” varieties. We had meatloaf, salad, carrots, and Doritos (please, I never buy those but when the local store has a sale of buy one get two free then Yup I’m going to buy a few bags).

I ate the meal on the plate and was satisfied; there was no need to go back for anything. Continue reading

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The bad, the ugly, now the good – Japanese on a Portion Plate

Last week, I got a heart clogging lunch from Five Guys Burgers and Fries to put on a Portion Plate. The nutritional devastation from that one lunch was pretty impressive.

This week I went to a Japanese restaurant (You You Japanese Bistro, Nashua) and brought home the Bento Box Teriyaki Chicken to put on the plate.

The meal contains a salad, steamed vegetables, some yellow/orange thing that tastes good but I’ve always been afraid to ask what it is, rice, two crispy pork pieces, chicken, and a container of miso soup.

This is how it looks on a Portion Plate.

Teriyaki Chicken on a Portion Plate

Note: I put the yellow/orange thing with the rice because I think it is made of tofu making it a carbohydrate.

Although it looks like there is a lot of meat, it’s actually only one chicken breast that has been cut into small pieces. The pork is piled on top of the chicken.

The soup didn’t fit anywhere on the plate so I just left it off to the side.

It’s a full plate, but not an over flowing plate. Take a look at the rice. It’s a scoop of rice not the plate of rice that is sometimes served with Asian meals. A scoop is what we should be eating. A scoop is a portion. Rice like potatoes is cheap which is why we are served a lot of it.

Cheap, though, as we’ve all learned, can be very fattening.

Also, notice that the vegetables take over a good half of the plate. That’s the way we should be eating for each meal. Vegetables provide nutrition, water, and bulk. They make us feel more full and make our bodies function better. And guess what? Vegetables cost less than protein and the prepared stuff that we tend to eat. I’ll bet that many of us don’t include enough fruits and vegetables in our daily diets.

Every time I eat at You You Japanese Bistro I always leave saying that I feel full but not stuffed. It’s a lovely feeling and one I should be aiming for with all my meals. This is quite unlike the experience I had eating at Five Guys for the first time where I left feeling stuffed and bloated and quite frankly ill.

Easter is coming up, a big food holiday, and I’ll be planning our meal based on the Portion Plate guidelines. A holiday food celebration where you won’t have to loosen your belt afterward…

Imagine that.


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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Five Guys – great if you’re looking for a heart attack

In a continuing attempt to teach my kids about food portion size, I went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries to purchase a regular one patty cheese burger hamburger and a regular order of fries (not large or spiced). This is the sized meal I would purchase for each of my kids. My plan was to plate this food on the Portion Plate for all to see. Continue reading


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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. Continue reading

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The Portion Plates – food for thought

We are continuing with using the Portion Plates at our house. Not a meal goes by that someone doesn’t ask if we are using the brightly colored, picture covered dishes.

At dinner, we each get our plate and put the food on it making sure that we stay to the guidelines. We still have sporadic grumbling about vegetables but everyone (even the resident cauliflower  hater) puts at least some veggies on their plate. Continue reading

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Portion Plates Experiment – the first day

Oh there was excitement in our household last night!

The girls, in anticipation of eating off the Portion Plates set the table with placemats and the plates well before the dinner was ready. They made a salad, got the carrots ready and then steamed the broccoli.

On deck for the main course was Griffin’s Great sandwich (sausage, red and orange peppers, and some melted cheddar cheese). Continue reading

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Our next family experiment – Portion Plates to the rescue

We have always watched portions in our house. Not only does it keep the weight down but it keeps our food budget reasonable. Meat is doled out in ounce servings as opposed to the poundage amounts you sometimes get in restaurants. We load up on vegetables and fruit. We don’t eat tons of starches. Junk food although not entirely out of the house is certainly at a minimum usually relegated to holiday celebrations. We never eat fast food.

Even our snacks are measured by custard-dish sizes. Continue reading

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