Portion Control for Kids

by Shaun Dreisbach

Portion Control for Kids

Learn how to determine portion sizes for your kid. Plus, get healthy eating tips, exercise ideas, and more ways to shape up with Parenting’s Fit Generation 2011!

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.