FCS@Home: Portioning and Variety

— Written By Marcus McFarland
en Español / em Português

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Healthy Dish of Grilled Chicken and Salad

With a new year comes resolutions to change, whether it be by getting into shape, losing weight, or eating healthy. However, a simple and easier start to creating healthier habits can start off with small tweaks like eating a variety of food groups and portioning foods.

The most important food groups we may know from the older food pyramid and new MyPlate are fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Make sure when portioning meals, include more grains and vegetables, and a smaller number of fruits and proteins. Grains and vegetables have a great amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While fruits and proteins are very beneficial provide us with proteins, fiber, carbohydrates for energy, and fats; limiting their amounts helps to prevent overconsumption of sugar, protein and fat.


You can use the modern MyPlate example to help set up your plate with the right amount of each food groups. For more information, check out MyPlate.gov

Measuring out foods can be simple as looking at your hand. Your fist can measure about 1 cup of brown rice or broccoli florets. Your hand is about 1-2 ounces of nuts and seeds, a thumb is 1 oz of cheese, and the palm of your hands can measure the recommended amount of about 3 ounces of meat proteins. This year, check out myplate.gov to look for great ways to make your meals and assist you with making healthy habits in portioning your foods!


“The secret to serving size is in your hand.” – Iowa WIC Program – Iowa Department of Public Health