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Portion Control for Kids

Is that blob of mac and cheese just right -- or more than your kid's fair share? It's actually not complicated to figure out -- and you don't need to weigh or measure a thing, says childhood obesity expert and pediatrician Sarah Hampl, M.D. The answer is right in your child's hand: A child-size portion of meat is about what would fit in your guy's palm.

For whole-grain carbs, such as brown rice or pasta, a serving is roughly the size of his fist -- a measurement that also applies to fruits, veggies, and dairy products such as yogurt. A serving of cheese is about thumb-size, and for munching on snack foods, think a handful. "The great thing about this system is that it works no matter what your child's age -- because his hand grows as he, and his appetite, does. So you don't have to memorize portions," Dr. Hampl notes.

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