Children’s Portion Sizes

Trying to gauge the portion sizes your kids need is like an olympic sport. The doctors and other sources say one thing, your instincts are telling you something but the 100 times your kids ask for food tells you something else ! Hopefully these little tidbits help. The goal is to raise healthy children, whatever that looks like for you. Just remember that no matter what, you know your children better than strangers on the internet.

family making breakfast in the kitchen
Photo by August de Richelieu

Are They Hungry ?

First things first, the portion sizes kids should have don’t always coordinate with being hungry. This is where it’s really important to know your kids individually. Sometimes kids want to eat simply because they’re bored. Other times, they’re actually just thirsty. Still, sometimes they’re just reminiscing about the taste of something and it has nothing to do with their belly. These are all super true for adults too. The main difference is, for us, it’s usually a self-control problem. But for children who are still learning their bodies, they actually have no clue what’s going on.

Meal Portion

Now, the nitty gritty. Let’s start by saying the obesity problem going on in the States has really warped our thinking. Take a look at portions sizes for adults at McDonald’s in 1955. They were pretty identical to the size of a happy meal today. And that actually used to suffice. Probably because it was closer to being actual real food and not just processed blobs (delicious blobs).

Additionally, portion size directly correlates to activity levels. If your child is in sports for example, they may need an extra meal sometimes. Also, when going through a growth spurt it gets pretty crazy. For everything else, we found this nifty chart, enjoy !

Portion By Age

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