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Know Your Sizes! Serving vs Portion

Meal prep is a science! Much thought and care need to be taken when preparing appropriate amounts of food to consume. Portion size and Serving size are often used interchangeably but are very different. 

Serving Size 

This is a standardized amount of food that is often used to quantify recommended amounts, or represent quantities that people typically consume on a Nutrition Facts label.

Portion size

The amount of a particular food you choose to eat. This can be more or less than the listed serving size on a Nutrition Facts Label.

When preparing food, measuring cups and spoons are perfect to use to adequately plan your meals, but if these are not readily available, there are tips one could follow to best estimate amounts. 

  • An average-sized fist measures about 1 cup
    • Appropriate portion size for raw or cooked vegetables, whole fruit, or 100% fruit juice
  • A scooped handful measures about ½ cup
    • Roughly measures 1-ounce equivalent for grains
  • The palm measures about 3 ounce-equivalents
    • Appropriate portion size format products
  • The thumb measures about 1 tablespoon
    • Appropriate portion size for peanut butter
  • Fingertip measures about 1 teaspoon
    • Appropriate portion size for oils or other fats
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