What is a Portion Plate&Trade;?

Mandi Rogier

The Portion Plate™ is a melamine dish with portion control information printed on the surface to assist consumers in following healthy eating strategies. As the standard portion size presented at restaurants and in grocery stores continues to grow, it has become increasingly difficult for the average person to understand what an actual portion should be. A single meal at a restaurant often contains multiple portions of each item, though the fact that it is packaged as an individual meal makes it seem as though it should be only a single serving.

A medium sized potato is about the size of a computer mouse.
A medium sized potato is about the size of a computer mouse.

The Portion Plate™ uses visual cues to help users understand appropriate portion sizes. A single serving of fruits or vegetables is equated to the size of a baseball. A serving of meat is approximately the size of a deck of cards. One serving of bread is equated to the size of a cassette tape, while an appropriately sized pancake would be as big as a compact disc (CD). A computer mouse is used to demonstrate the portion size of a medium potato.

A person on a portion control diet should fill at least half her plate with vegetables and fruits.
A person on a portion control diet should fill at least half her plate with vegetables and fruits.

To further assist with meal planning, the plate is divided into three sections. The top half of the plate should be reserved for fruits and vegetables. One bottom quarter of the plate is for grains, while the other is for lean meat or other protein products. A note in the center of the plate reminds eaters to use fats, sweets, and oils sparingly.

A slightly revised version of the Portion Plate™ is available for children as well. This plate shares the appropriately scaled down portion sizes which should be used for children. A yo-yo depicts the size of a serving of fruit while a tennis ball is used to demonstrate the size of a single serving of vegetables. A single serving of meat is represented with a small box of crayons and a serving of whole grains is compared to a CD.

In addition to the standard Portion Plate&trade and kids Portion Plate™, the company also offers customized plates for various companies and organizations who may wish to distribute the item. These are available with custom colors and images as well as the company’s logo. The American Cancer Society, IBM, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and a long list of hospitals, health departments, and schools have all purchased the product.

Portion control has been used as an effective weight management strategy for many individuals. This plate is designed to assist individuals in visually planning their meals. The portion sizes and eating guidelines provided by the Portion Plate™ are consistent with the USDA New Food Guide Pyramid.

A handful of nuts or dried fruit for a snack is considered healthy.
A handful of nuts or dried fruit for a snack is considered healthy.

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