Small Plates

The United Healthcare Insurance Company is very interested in my well being and often emails me helpful information. Consider this outtake from their website where dietitian Melanie Polk speaks to the differences in how we eat:
A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat or drink — or what you're served. Whether it's from a package, plate or buffet, a portion can be a bite or a feast.

A serving size is a standard unit of measuring food — a cup or ounce, for example. The Nutrition Facts on a food label are based on this. The label tells you how many calories are in a single serving of the food. It also lists how much fat, protein, sodium and other nutrients are in that amount.
Years ago Ann and I recognized that we ate less when we served meals on small plates. At first I think that we went back and refilled our plates but eventually got used to the smaller portions. We often extend this thinking to our eating out experiences. We enjoy places that offer a Tapas (small plate) menu and we will usually share an entrée rather than gorge ourselves on two - and we rarely do buffets.

Are you a fan of small plates or do you enjoy buffets and larger servings?


  1. I saw the small plate experiment on something like 20/20 some years ago. It is amazing how important perception is to so many things.

  2. Definitely prefer a smaller portion with superior taste to a buffet full of inferior quality food.

    The smaller plate approach is an excellent moderation aid!

  3. We almost always use small plates, and my sister and I share entrées! Of course, I still need to lose lots of pounds! I heard about the 'breathing diet' this morning, but don't give it much credit, either!

  4. We are small plate users too. (most of the time) If I'm serving salad on the same plate, I might go for the bigger plate. It really does make a difference the portion size.

    That's why I make "small" cookies, HaHa.

  5. My brother works for two restaurants in NYC that are headed up by Chef Chris Santos who specializes in small plates (that's all they serve there).

    Chris' restaurants are very popular... its fun going with a group because you get to tase a lot of things!

  6. It depends on what we are eating, sometimes we can get by with smaller portions and not be hungry soon after, and sometimes not.

    I like buffets every now and then, but not on a regular basis.

  7. I do sometimes enjoy a buffet Mike. I find that I enjoy the variety instead of the volume.

  8. Me too. I also do a Chinese buffet every Friday for lunch.

  9. And don't forget the brunch buffets - the omelet bar is one of my favorites.


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