Ways to help your toddler understand portion sizes

Ways to help your toddler understand portion sizes

Posted by Yumble Team | Posted on Sep 9, 2021 at 10:30 AM

Have you ever looked at a bottle of soda or a bag of chips and thought- “There’s three servings in this little container?!” Portion sizes and portion servings can be widely different. Portion servings are what you are “served” in a container or at a restaurant. This can make it difficult to manage portion control. A portion size is how much of a food or food group it takes for our body to get the nutrients it needs. It can also be the limit on how much we should have of certain foods to avoid unwanted health consequences.

Portion Distortion

Portions can be tricky to figure out for adults, let alone kids. As adults, we often serve our children more than they need, an adult serving rather than a child serving. But that large amount of food can be overwhelming for a kiddo and when they don’t consume “enough” for their adult’s liking. Did you know most adults overeat their portions?

What should portions look like for adults?

  • Protein foods should be 3oz, about the size of a deck of cards. Try to consume between 3-7oz of protein daily.
  • Try to consume 3 ½ cup servings of vegetables and 2 ½ cup servings of fruit each day.
  • Try to eat 5-10oz of grains each day. Make half of them whole grains!

What should portion size for toddlers look like?

  • Protein foods for toddlers should be about 2oz daily, just smaller than a deck of cards over the course of the day.
  • Toddlers should aim to eat ⅔ to 1 cup of vegetables daily. Fruit should be consumed about ½ to 1 cup daily.
  • Toddlers need about ½ oz to 1 oz of grains daily. This can look like one mini bagel, ½ full sized bagel, 1 slice of bread, ½ cup of oatmeal, or 7 round crackers.

Keep calm and serve on

We know kids, especially toddlers, aren’t tuned into portion sizes. Some days they may drink more milk and other days none. Some months they may eat every vegetable you put in front of them, only to go on a food jag for a couple weeks and eat only crackers. Remember, small food protests are a normal part of development.Keep serving all the food groups, in the portions above, using a no pressure approach as your child figures out what works best for their body. If a food aversion is new, long lasting, or worrisome to you, contact your pediatrician or dietitian.

How to teach portion control to kids

You can explain to your child, using age appropriate language, that some foods do lots of things for our body, like fruits and vegetables, so we want to try to eat more of those foods most days. Using meals like this chicken pesto sandwich or tasty chicken and cheddar sandwich, you can show each food group in the healthy portion size a kid's body needs! There may be days when you are more hungry or less hungry and it’s important to listen to your body.

What about sweets?

One food group that doesn’t do “as much” for our body is added sugars. These foods can taste good, be fun, and certainly have a place, but in moderation. It is recommended for adults to consume no more than 6-8 tablespoons of added sugar each day. For kids, it’s even less. Kiddos under 2 should have no added sugar! We know that when our kiddos consume too many sugary snacks, they don’t have the appetite to consume the “good for growing” nutrient dense food groups we serve. Keep sweet treat portions small and avoid sugary drinks.

Yumble, a kids meal delivery service, makes delicious, nutritious meals kids love to eat. With hidden veggies, delicious proteins, and whole grains in the portions perfect for growing toddlers and kiddos! It’s a snap for you and a tasty win for them!

Looking for an easy way to get dinner on the table- fast? Yumble is the children’s healthy meal planner that does the hard work for you. We deliver fresh, delicious, fully prepared kids’ meals right to your door. Pick a plan that works best for your family, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble takes care of the rest. No cooking required! Ready to save time & serve nutritious meals? Visit https://yumblekids.com/

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