Presentation Ideas: Size With Your Eyes

Here is an interesting link from Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN, which we’ve turned into a helpful new resource for you! Size with Your Eyes: It seems like the portion size explosion may be beginning to change course, at least according to evidence provided by Restaurant Management magazine. In one of its latest articles, “A Big Year for Small Portions,” the magazine outlines a few ways that various restaurants are reducing portion size and changing the balance of their plates.

Have participants evaluate this information themselves by crafting a colorful display that compares traditional entrees to lighter fare. Look at pictures of two Applebee’s entrees, for example. How is the Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin (from the Weight Watchers section of the menu) different from the Shrimp ‘N Parmesan Sirloin (from the traditional section of the menu)? By providing opportunities to evaluate actual visual representations of the food and its arrangement on the plate, participants will have more tools to effectively weigh their options when looking at restaurant menus. There are a few different ways to display this information. Most large restaurant chains have photos of menu items on their websites, so a little research and printing could take care of the whole shebang. You could also draw the proportions of each item and arrange pictures that way. Of course, you could go to the restaurants, order the foods, and take pictures of the actual plates, but that seems a bit expensive and labor-intensive.

Once you have the images you have decided to use, it’s time to pick a presentation style. A side-by-side comparison of heavy food alongside a smaller option can really bring the point home, but another display that features one side filled with traditional entrees and another featuring smaller portions could also be effective. Try them and let us know what works for you!

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