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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

From my small plate

Posted Friday, June 10, 2011, at 8:39 AM

One evening, just as I was finishing the dishes, my eight-year-old daughter Lilly comes to the kitchen for her bedtime snack. She scoops chocolate ice cream with a large spoon, quickly filling up the sundae dish. She then tosses the spoon into the sink and takes a new spoon from the drawer. This time she grabs one of her baby sister's infant feeder spoons. Exhausted at the sight of a dirty spoon in my clean sink, I ask Lilly why she was eating with a baby spoon rather than the spoon she'd used to dip the ice cream. Nonchalantly, she says, "It will take me longer to eat it; so I'll be able to enjoy it longer." Brilliant! Why hadn't I thought of that? What a great way to savor the tasty treat.

As another trick, we use small sundae dishes. A good scoop in a sundae dish heaps over the top, making it extra scrumptious. In addition, a sundae dish is just more fun, making the treat more enjoyable. If we'd put the same amount of ice cream into a regular bowl, it would look measly and call for another scoop. An even larger bowl would scream for three scoops.

This same phenomenon applies at the table. When we fix our plates--just like when we scoop ice cream--we tend to fill 'er up. Some may remember when the dinner plate was the size of today's salad plate. Over the last two decades, the dinner plate has grown. Along with the growing dinner plate has been growing portion sizes, and along with growing portion sizes, growing waistlines.

Although a salad plate has less space to fill, it still has plenty of room for proper nourishment. Regularly eating off salad plates, rather than large dinner plates, can decrease the chances of overeating, making it easier to maintain or lose weight.

From my small plate to yours, try fooling yourself with a smaller sundae dish (and a baby spoon if you have one)! After all, what do you have to lose?

From Worthington, Tracey is a Registered Dietitian. She currently lives in Arlington, Va., with her husband, Ed and three children, Lilly, Charlie, and Kate. She can be found on Facebook at Tracey Linneweber, RD. The information contained in this blog is not intended to substitute for your physician's advice.


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I love how you cleaned up your lifestyle for the sake of your baby. Thank you so much for sharing your motivation and approach. I hope you inspire others to do the same!

-- Posted by TraceyLinneweber on Fri, Jun 10, 2011, at 1:40 PM

I had a baby a few months ago and have been working very hard to adjust my lifestyle to be healthier. I want him to grow up with the mindset that we eat healthy and exercise, that's just part of life. And with him as motivation, it has been fairly easy. I didn't want to go on a diet, per say, because to me, a diet implies that at some point you won't have to do it anymore and that isn't what I wanted. I gave up all soda first. Then, I started making sure we had a fruit and vegetable with every meal. It is amazing how much difference just little changes make. Instead of having cake or ice cream every night for dessert, have strawberries or pineapple. Approaching it like this has been so much easier than dieting. I find now that I don't even really want sweets, I look at them and see calories and fat. And not one time throughout this process have I ever counted a calorie or gram of fat. I also haven't denied myself anything, I just try to eat something healthy first. Like a big salad before eating a slice of pizza. Anyway, I have lost a little over 40 pounds since November, and feel wonderful. I am really enjoying this blog and love the idea of smaller plates, please keep posting.

-- Posted by greeneco3 on Fri, Jun 10, 2011, at 12:42 PM


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