You can never have too much fruit. That bit of parenting was one mom’s valiant attempt to steer her kids away from junk food. The truth is, you can have too much of a good thing — even fruit!
When it comes to America’s growing waistline, poor portion control ranks right up there with lack of exercise and unhealthy food choices as a leading contributor. By teaching your kids proper portion sizes during their childhood, you can give them a healthy frame of reference that will serve them well their entire lives.
But how many vegetables should a 3-year-old eat? What’s the right portion size of bread for a 10-year-old? This handy chart gives you the right estimated portion size for children at various ages who are a healthy weight. Those who need to gain extra pounds or lose some might have different recommendations, so an appointment with a dietitian can be helpful for a more individualized plan.
Suggested Portion Size by Age
|Food||# of Servings Each Day||1-3 Years||4-5 Years||6-12 Years||12 Years +|
|Grains (bread, cereal, pasta)||5 or less||1/2 slice or 1/4 cup||1/2 slice or 1/2 cup||1 slice or 1/2 cup||1 slice or 1/2 cup|
|Vegetables||3-5||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1/2 cup|
|Fruits||2-4||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1/2 cup|
|Dairy (milk products)||2-3||1/2 cup||3/4 cup||1 cup||1 cup|
|Protein||2-3||1 oz. or 1/4 cup||1 1/2 ozs. or 1/3 cup||2 ozs. or 1/2 cup||2-3 ozs. or 1/2 cup|
What a Portion Size Looks Like
|Food||Average Serving Size||What it Looks Like|
|Meat||3 ozs.||Deck of Cards|
|Pasta or Rice||1/2 cup||Yo-yo|
|Cheese||1 oz.||Four Dice|