A serving size is the amount that the nutrition facts on a product state are a good amount to eat, while the portion size is the amount of food that you eat. Making sure that your child is eating the right serving size that’s on the label helps to keep track of the amount of nutrients that he or she is getting, while keeping the portion sizes small but more frequent (such as five small meals a day instead of two or three huge ones) will keep them fueled constantly to help keep them active. Eating more than the serving size and eating bigger portions means that your child is storing more of the food and not being able to digest properly, which can lead to weight gain.
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Portion size and serving size -- too often these terms are used interchangeably when, in fact, they are not the same. To help your child or teen achieve a healthy weight, it’s important to understand the difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” When talking about what kids eat or drink, keep these definitions in mind:
A serving is a specific amount of food or drink that is defined by common measurements, such as cups, ounces, or tablespoons.
A portion is basically the amount of food that happens to end up on the plate. Think of portion size as the actual amount of food kids choose to eat at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. Portions can be bigger or smaller than the recommended serving size.