It is well known that portion sizes of numerous energy-dense foods have increased in the past decades, also highlighting the introduction of ‘super- sized’ portions, particularly in ultra-processed and fast food. Besides, larger portion sizes can usually be offered at a proportionally low cost (9). Thus, controlling calories and portions size out of home is challenging.
In this case, some additional tips to avoid portion size pitfalls when buying or eating out.
- Don’t buy jumbo-sized packages
- Be aware that serving size indicated in food labels could be lower than real quantity of children´s portions, even in small containers
- At restaurants, choose plates that include healthy techniques
- Ask for a half-portion or share plates and desserts
- Eat a salad or veggies first and skip appetizers than could stimulate appetite leading to eat more at restaurants
- Prefer for vegetable, fruit, or herb-based sauces or vinaigrettes, avoiding creamy sauces and soups, and if possible ask to serve them separately
- Ask the possibility of excluding or substituting an ingredient for a healthier option or adding vegetables if plate does not have.
- Ask to serve the bread basket at the same time as foods, not first
- Don’t lose sight of what and how much your child is eating during holidays and special occasions.