Food Portions

smspAs Americans we are spoiled.  We are used to having what we want when we want it.  That is especially true when it comes to food.

In 2009, 63.1% of Americans were overweight.  That means as Americans we are eating, and eating well.  Food portions have steadily increased over the last 20 years.  In many fast food restaurants the portion size of small is what the old medium used to be, the old large is now super or mega size.  This is bad for a couple of reasons.

One, we are getting fatter because we are eating more (and many times doing less).  Two, and most importantly, we are getting used to eating as much as we want.  Why is this bad?  Because in an emergency situation you must be able to properly manage your food and water supplies.  If you eat your emergency food in the same portions that you eat food now, your months’ worth of food might only last you two weeks or less.

Now is the time to start adjusting how you and your family eat.  On average no portion should be larger than the palm of your hand that is about three ounces or a handful which is about one to two ounces?  Kid’s portions should be based on their palm size, not the adult’s palm.  Also, did you know when you eat off an eight inch plate you tend to fill the plate?  What if you started feeding your family on six inch plates, using the correct portion size?  You would begin to get use to eating less and most likely start losing weight as well.

Most of us waste a lot of food.  For example, I personally know a woman who made her family a new recipe of vegetable stew.  She used five cans of mixed vegetables as well as some other ingredients.  She was only feeding a family of four.  The family ate the meal but none of them were too thrilled with her new concoction.  After dinner, during clean up, she threw away the rest of the stew.  Reason being “nobody liked it very much.”  Her husband was very upset, stating she wasted good food whether they like it or not, it was nutrition that was wasted.

Ladies, when there is an emergency you can’t be thinking like you think now, regardless of how good something tastes, you won’t have the luxury to be picky about what you eat.  You also won’t want to waste good food.

The reason I shared that story is to urge you to practice preparing and eating food in the correct portion size.  Get use to eating what you make and making only what you need to eat, based on a healthy portion size not a portion that you currently are eating.

It is not food rationing, it is smart food preparation.  The term rationing is a very negative word and the last thing you want to do in an emergency, when tensions are already high, is start to place demands on the family like “We need to ration our food!”  That kind of statement will cause panic, stress, and all around bad attitude.

Relearn your eating habits now.  Start serving correct portion sizes so you get used to seeing a smaller portion on your new smaller plate.  Making these adjustments now, will help you and your families eat better nutritious meals, lose weight and will make life so much easier if life gets hard in the future.