I was doing some research on portion control and the sizing of dinner plates over the years. I was so shocked at seeing the size difference! In the 60’s the average dinner plate was on average 21.5 cm’s in diameter, to give you some comparison the average dinner plate has grown to a whopping 30.5 cm! That’s a foot! Dinner plates have even turned into a more bowl shape so we can pile more on to it, but it’s not just dinner plates that have grown. Standing drinking glasses and cutlery have also grown. Why has this been happening?
The general consumer is always look for more food for less money and the manufacturers are more than willing to give this to us. So over time as we continue to look for more, companies have been increasing the size of food for less money. Do you know what else is increasing, our waistlines. How can food prices go down when they’re increasing the size, well it usually means nutrition is going down too. So now not only are we getting bigger, but now our food is giving us less nutrients. Companies have to modify the food we eat with chemicals, processing, additives and preservers to bulk out our food and to make it last longer. This is something we all know by now and yet, which I find quite funny, we still consume them because they’re cheap, the problem being is now we’re not consuming food any more but food like products. So while we are stuck in the cycle our food size is going to continue to grow along with our waists.
By now you should get the gist of why things have increased. We also eat with our eyes, our appetite is easily stimulated by looking at delicious tasty food with lots of colour and freshness and by filling our plate we feel compelled to eat it and finish it. Did you know that using a smaller plate you’d feel just as satisfied and you’d also put less on your plate.
The correct portion size is pretty easy to remember. A piece of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards, starchy vegetables and food likes pasta and rice should be about the size of a tennis ball. I’ve been using The Waitplate Systems which includes the perfect size portion templates. It has a protein template, bread, pizza, cake, starchy carbs and dressing, fats and oils. This has been helping me to take the guess work out and giving me back control of the amount of food I’m eating.
The templates along with the portion control plate and cutlery, which have also been made smaller, give you complete control. The portion control all works in conjunction with the unique chew timer which aims to slow down your eating and how quickly you chew.
I was going through a few forums online where people were talking about the changes in size on crockery and I came across and excellent saying, “To be a 1960’s size you must use 1960’s crockery!” I love it and I personally plan to adapt this! It finally means I can use all my antique china that I have collected. Another person made an excellent point, special occasion meals were served on larger plates, so at one point in time we’ve adapted special occasion portions for every day. Finally food was never piled to the edge of the plate, the rim of the plate is supposed to clear of food; this is why chefs wipe the edges clean. However, I agree with what one woman posted saying that in days gone by, it was probably because the masters of the house didn’t want their servant’s fingers in their food!