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NutriPro All About Balance – How to Plan Right-sized Portions For Your Guests

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Another way to provide more balanced portions is to consider how you plate your dishes.

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.

Sources

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)
https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011045.pub2/epdf/abstract