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5 a day, but how big is a child's portion?

(26 Posts)
Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 14:07:53

I hope you are going to make me feel better here.

I try to give my children as much fruit and veg as they will eat but, apart from ds1, this tends to be nearer 2 portions per day. But, I was thinking, how much is a child's portion? You see on packaging one banana = a portion, or 2 tbsp of peas or whatever. Presumably, those are adult portions. Surely a child (thinking esp of ds3 who is only two) would only have to eat a fraction of that to have a portion? Does anyone know? This lunchtime, he ate half an avocado. Is that a portion (for him) do you think?

iota Tue 26-Apr-05 14:20:39

one tablespoon per year of life" for kids 1 to 6 years of age
\link{ see here}

iota Tue 26-Apr-05 14:21:24

try again here

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 14:21:50

Whaaat? So you have to eat 6 tablesoons of a veg to have a portion? Even I don't do that!

gingerbear Tue 26-Apr-05 14:21:51

Lorraine Kelly's book has a table with portion sizes for toddlers (am at work, so don't have it on me, but will check later)

alison222 Tue 26-Apr-05 14:22:04

found this
What is a portion size?
A simple way to define a portion of fruit and vegetables is by referring to the amount that can be held in the palm of a hand. The smaller the person, the smaller the hand and the smaller the amount of fruit and vegetables required to make up a portion. Dieticians define an adult's portion as 80g.
sorry can't do links

iota Tue 26-Apr-05 14:22:12

mind you that seems excessive to me

NotTellingYet Tue 26-Apr-05 14:22:49

Just had a look at the food standards agency website - and it says "There are no specific guidelines on portion sizes for children, but children’s portions should be proportionate." Actually it says 1/2 an avocado is an adult portion - so it's definately at least a whole child portion.

iota Tue 26-Apr-05 14:22:54

sorry I was referring to my post not anyone elses

iota Tue 26-Apr-05 14:25:40

I look at the ratio of the child's weight to an adult so my 3 yr old is about .2 or .25 of an adult, so a portion would be about a quarter of an adult one.

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 14:27:20

Thanks NotTellingYet, that food standards agency link is most helpful - I am going to print it out - and gave me some reassurance. Glad to know I have had at least three portions today as I had one and a half avocados for lunch (and it only seems to be fruit juice that can only account for one portion according to that link!) Thanks everyone else too.

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 14:28:34

Iota, that would mean my fussy children need only eat a couple of teaspoons of say mased swede to qualify for a portion? Or say 5-6 carrot rings? What do you think?

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 14:28:48


iota Tue 26-Apr-05 14:30:47

I think Lonelymum that since I have a ds with a very small appitite, who is very fussy, that I am not qualified to judge another

If my ds1 eats 1 carrot stick it counts for me!

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 14:32:44

Well, I think I might be doing better than I imagined, which is quite nice to know.

iota Tue 26-Apr-05 14:36:21

If my ds1 ate 6 tablespoons of carrots that would probably be as much as his entire eveening meal

KatieMac Tue 26-Apr-05 14:48:51

I use a palm size as a portion.

But remember that each veg/fruit only counts once.
So OJ with B/Fast and OJ with lunch is only 1 portion.

But OJ with B/F of ceral & raisins counts as 2
Lunch - tomato & ham sandwich,Apples slices counts as 2
Tea - Mince & Mash with carrots & Swede, then banana custard counts as 4 (onions in the mince)

Day sorted

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 15:58:05

If only it were thqat simple KatieMac!

KatieMac Tue 26-Apr-05 20:28:48

For a 2 yo that could be as little as a level dessert spoon, or 1/4 of an apple
for a baby a teaspoon or puree

a 6 ft bloke 3 heaped tablespoons

jane313 Tue 26-Apr-05 20:55:21

Organix sent me a wall chart guide for different ages, have a look at their web site

Hulababy Tue 26-Apr-05 20:58:15

I have read the handful advice as a guide. So a portion for me is what I can hold in the palm of my hand, whereas DD's portion is much smaller - as her palm of hand holds much less.

Branster Tue 26-Apr-05 21:04:03

I say don't worry about sizes, portions etc etc. As long as the child (or adult) consumes a variety of fruit & vegetables (and other stuff of course) it doesn't actually matter how much that is.
I could only eat 3 blueberries one day and the next would consume masses of vegs & fruit, the next day wouldn't touch anything green. overall if there is variety and balance, that's fine.

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 21:10:12

I don't think my children get much balance though, or at least not ds3 because he has such a small appetite at the moment (or at least, he does if he is not being offered a plate of biscuits: then he can happily eat 4 or 5!)

Take this evening. I did shepherds pie with pureed carrot hidden in the mince (one and a half large carrots between the 6 of us). I did courgettes to go with it. Ds3 had a decent serving spoon of shepherds pie and 3 courgette rings. He ate none of the courgette and only half of the pie, so how much veg did he have? About a teaspoon of pureed carrot I would estimate. That, plus his half avocado at lunchtime and a cup of orange juice (diluted) is the only F or V he has had today. Oh and a small fruit fromage frais. But then he is eats so little anyway, so maybe that is all I can expect.

KatieMac Tue 26-Apr-05 21:28:40

That's quite good juice,carrot (no onion?)fruit in yog...does he like raisins/dried apricots/banana chips? they are good instant fruit

smoothies with ice cream & strawberries/banana/mango? again only a third of a banana or 3 strawberries can be hidden in choc smoothies

Lonelymum Tue 26-Apr-05 21:35:12

Yes there was onion but only a tiny bit in his portion. No, he is not overly keen on dried fruit. Like all kids, he will eat a few if he sees his brother eating them, but most of the time, big bro is at school. I have never tried smoothies. Have you a good recipe I could try?

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