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Food portion kit teaches kids healthy eating habits

This is an excerpt from Innovative Tools for Health Education by Marilyn Grechus.

This is an excerpt from Innovative Tools for Health Education by Marilyn Grechus, PhD

Help your students visualize the size of a portion of food so they can more easily follow the guidance of MyPyramid.


  • File box for 5-by-7-inch cards
  • Several of the following: tennis ball, baseball, deck of cards, checkbook, dice, matchbook, nickel, CD case, 3-inch-round mint tin, hockey puck, light bulb shape (mine is a stress ball), computer mouse

Instructions for Assembling

Collect the selected items that represent one portion of food. Store in the file box (figure 24.1).

  • Tennis ball: 1 cup cooked rice, medium piece of fruit
  • Baseball: 12-ounce potato or 1 cup cold cereal
  • Deck of cards (or cassette tape): 3 ounces of meat
  • CD case: 1 slice of bread, 1 pancake
  • Matchbook: 1 tablespoon oil, salad dressing, or syrup
  • Nickel: 2 ounces dry spaghetti (1 cup cooked spaghetti)
  • Wood square (or 6 dice): 1 ounce cheese
  • Mint tin (or hockey puck): bagel
  • Checkbook cover: 3 ounces fish
  • Computer mouse: baked potato

To Use

Along with a discussion of how much of each food group should be consumed in a day, these models can help students visualize how much they are actually eating.