Most holiday celebrations are centered around food and even though that is something that brings us all together we need to remember our basic nutrition knowledge when enjoying ourselves.

This week we will talk about portion sizes. A portion size is the amount of food you choose to eat that could be more or less than a standard serving size. In the United States our portion sized have grown over the years and most people haven’t even realized it. Appropriate portions sizes due vary little based on your overall calorie needs, but here are the basics for estimating the actual sized portions you should be eating.


Portion Size

Fruits/Vegetables (raw, cooked, whole fruit)Average fist or about 1 cup
Grains (pasta, rice, oatmeal)Tennis ball or about ½ cup
Protein (meat, poultry, fish)Deck of cards or about 3 oz.
Dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt)Size of your thumb or about 1 tbsp
Oils or sweetsNo recommended size, eat in moderation

Tips for Holiday Eating:

Go Easy: Avoid overfilling your plate. Remember if you put it on your plate you are more likely to eat it. Use a smaller plate.

Fill your Plate with Color: Fill your plate with fruit and vegetables first (at least half your plate). Fruit and vegetables will add flavor and nutrients to holiday favorites.

Watch the Amount Served: Most serving spoons are more than a single serving. Keep this in mind as you add food to your plate.

Choose your Splurges: Scan the food before making your plate to decide which foods you want to splurge on that you can only get this time of year.

Don’t come Hungry: Don’t skip meals before holiday eating. Have a small snack of fruit or vegetables if hungry before holiday meal is ready.

Save Some for Later: If you want more than can fit on one plate, make another plate to enjoy at a later time.

Resource: UF/IFAS Extension, Let’s Walk Florida: Getting You Holiday Ready

by Halie Corbitt

Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert

Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.

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