Many kids are eating too much. For the first time in history doctors are seeing childhood diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and joint problems. Kids need to eat right if they are going to have long and healthy lives. Share these food serving facts with your kids and grandkids.
* Read the serving size on the label first because it may not match US Government Food Pyramid serving size. (USDA, "Food Portions and Servings: How Do They Differ?")
* Many shoppers think the label serving size is the recommended amount, but it is not. This amount is based on the product's nutritional analysis. (Mayo Clinic, "Lose Weight With Proper Portion Control")
* Before you take a bite ask yourself, "Do I want a portion or a serving?" A portion is how much you choose to eat. A serving is a measured amount, such as a cup or half cup. (USDA, "How Much are You Eating?")
* Serving sizes depend on your age and how many calories you need each day. (USDA, "Food Portions and Servings: How Do They Differ?")
* Use food label information to your advantage. Compare the serving size that is listed with the amount you usually eat. Then "right size"your serving size. (Mayo Clinic, "Lose Weight With Proper Portion Control")
* Americans underestimate their food consumption by as much as 25 percent. To figure out how much you are really eating compare the food on your plate with the US Government Food Pyramid servings. (Meals Matter Web site, "Making Sense of Portion Sizes")
* To understand normal servings measure food with a food scale and standard measuring cups and spoons. Have you been over-eating? (Meals Matter Web site, "Making Sense of Portion Sizes")
* You may also use the hand method to measure food. Your fist is a cup, your palm is a serving of meat, your thumb is a serving of cheese or peanut butter, and a handful is a serving of pretzels, chips or nuts. Compare your hand with a measuring cup before you measure food.
(www.dpi.state.nd.us/child/new/PortionControl/Serving size.pdf, "Serving Sizes Are in Your Hand")
Don't succumb to portion distortion. Eat healthy servings with your kids and keep on eating them. For a helpful wallet-size serving card log onto the Portion Distortion Web site, an article titled, "Keep an Eye on Portion Size," and print cards for your kids. Print one for yourself, too.
Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance nonfiction writer for 29 years. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from http://www.amazon.com A five-star review of the book is posted on Amazon. You will find other reviews on the American Hospice Foundation Web site ("School Corner" heading) and the Health Ministries Association Web site.
Please visit Harriet Hodgson's Web site and learn more about this busy author.