Why is portion control important?
At a glance, portion control may seem trivial, but it’s an important aspect of nutrition according to experts.
To see the importance of food portion control, think of our bodies as engines that need fuel to function effectively and stay healthy. However, we don’t need just one kind of fuel; in fact, we need various fuel types in the form of different nutrients.
For example, we need carbohydrates for fiber and energy, protein for tissue repair, and vitamins and minerals for immunity.
If we lack particular nutrients, we might develop nutritional deficiencies that will negatively affect our health. Likewise, having too much of a specific nutrient is also not healthy. Case in point, too much carbohydrates may result in diabetes or obesity over time.
This is why the right portion sizes are necessary, especially for a toddler who’s just starting to discover new foods and understand their appetite. As parents, we have to make sure that they are getting all the fuels they need to stay healthy.
Where to get the fuel: The food groups
Before discussing the serving sizes for 3 to 5-year-olds, let’s first discuss the different food groups where your toddler can get various nutrients. The list below enumerates the essential food groups and recommended servings for toddlers:
- 5 servings of vegetables and fruits, or 2 to 3 servings of fruits, and 2 to 3 servings of vegetables
- 5 to 6 servings of grains
- 3 servings of dairy
- 2 servings of protein foods
- 3 to 4 servings of healthy fats
The right portion sizes for your toddler
Are you wondering how much of a specific food is equivalent to 1 serving? Here’s a quick guide for you: