Planning the plate
One way to minimise calories is to re-think the amount of real estate each food group can take up on the plate, reducing high calorie foods while increasing foods that are rich in nutrients, but lower in calories, fat, and sugar. Various health authorities around the world, such as MyPlate in the US, the EatWell Plate from the Food Service Agency in the UK, El Plato Del Bien Comer in Mexico, and Pinggang Pinoy in the Philippines, offer guidance for planning a balanced plate 1,2,3
In general, they suggest increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you serve to take up around half of the plate, with another quarter coming from grains (preferably whole grains), and the last quarter from lean protein. In addition to delivering more nutrients and reducing calories, these guidelines can help you create a plate with a lot of sensory appeal, using a variety of colours and textures to make the dining experience more pleasurable.
Offering more sizes on the menu
Another way to help guests make better choices is to provide them with more portion size options. This can include soup cups, half sandwiches, reduced portion main dishes and sides, beverages and miniature desserts. When you give guests more options, they may self-select the right amount of food to meet their current goals and desires.
1 USDA, Choose MyPlate. 2017.
2 UK: Eatwell Guide. 2016.
3 Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. 2018
Read more on the evolution of portion sizes through the years:
Portion, package or tableware size for changing selection and consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco (review)