Blogs » The World is My Napkin » Growing serving sizes


Luke's mom gave us a few of our Christmas presents early. I got a new set of plates, complete with mugs and bowls, and silverware, and Luke got a new pair of Reeboks.

As I've been going through our cabinets and trying to get rid of things we won't need anymore, I'm finding that my new dishes don't fit as well on the shelves as the others. Our former set was a mishmash of hand-me-down dishes and a slew of mugs we found at the local Goodwill and Habitat ReStore. Even the mugs have grown in size from their outdated counterparts.

And it got me thinking about how our ways of eating have changed so much.

We've become a society where meals can feed droves of people, not just the person ordering it. We have double cheeseburgers, plates with two thick-cut pork chops, and more. Add that to the appetizer samplers we order and sharing a dessert. It's a little excess at times, but I must admit that I have been guilty of ordering it all more than I have avoided it. A recent standard I've heard people should use as a guide when determining serving size is the palm of your hand. A piece of protein spanning no more than the size of your palm is believed to be the right amount of protein for one person. Of course, there other factors involved for different diets and not everyone has the same sized palm or is entirely proportionate to their own body.

But don't get me wrong, the plates I received are gorgeous. They're a golden yellow color and have a nice raised edge, which means I don't have to worry about gravy overflowing the mashed potato mound I've built and off my plate, dripping all over the table. The size of these plates is 11 inches across and even the little plates are 8.5 inches across.

If I were at a Chinese buffet, these are the plates I would sneak into the restaurant in my purse, but at home, I need to remember that every inch of that plate does not need to be covered by some item of food.

There have also been studies discussing how the size of your wine glass dictates how much you drink. It's not that you don't have control over the amount you're pouring, it's that you're pouring to fill the glass.

This might come out of left field for some readers, but for those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, dishes often dictate the amount of food you eat, or amount of drink you wash it down with. Unless of course, you work or dine at a place where space on the plate plays into the presentation of the food you're about to devour. So you might be asking why am I bringing this up anyway? Well, I just thought I'd plant a seed in your mind about what you're eating. The next time you cook something at home, ask yourself, "is this the same size meal I would order if I were dining out?" And ask yourself the same question if you go out to eat, "would I be eating the same portion at home?"

With 2013 fast approaching, people may start thinking about New Year's resolutions, including eating healthier or getting into shape. If that's along the lines of what you had in mind, then serving sizes are one of the easiest things to control when dieting or trying to eating right. If serving sizes weren't that large, than would we all be eating better rather than eating excess?

Just some thought for food.