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!
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.