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PART 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Did you know? Portions and servings are two different things. A portion is how much someone puts on a plate, and it can range greatly, from two cups of macaroni and cheese to three noodles. A serving is how much of an item is recommended by the USDA and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Refer to appendix G in this book for the MyPlate serving recommendations for children.) Helping children manage their portions is important. Few people instinctively understand what a serving is, but they can learn to take only what they need—which will often mimic a suggested serving size. A person can always take more if she’s still hungry. Doing that is better than piling heaps of food on a plate. To help children, you can model portion control and use serving utensils that encourage taking appropriate portions. In a culture of oversized portions, where “More is better” seems to be our mantra, portion control is an important lifelong skill. Enough food is provided so all children and teachers can have adequate servings of everything. Children are encouraged to serve themselves so they can begin to regulate and choose their own portions. The food looks appetizing. Did you know? Adults don’t like to eat food that doesn’t look appetizing—children are no different. Take a few simple steps to make sure food is appealing: serve foods at safe temperatures, cook green vegetables in a way that retains their vibrant color, and provide a variety of colorful healthy foods at each meal. Salt, sugar, and fats are not separately available to add after food has been prepared. 16 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL