Keeping portions to a healthy serving size when you are meal prepping can sound daunting. However, some simple tools will ease the process. Here are four types of tools that you can use to keep your serving sizes regular when you’re ready to start meal prepping.
Nutrition Food Scales
Nutrition food scales can accurately measure portion sizes, especially for foods that don’t easily fit in a cup, such as meat. When meal prepping, you want to have about 3 ounces of meat per serving. There are various types of nutrition food scales and brands. You can find basic scales that simply measure food or specialty scales with additional features. There are also more advanced food scales you can use. Some of these have food codes from the USDA National Nutrient Database. When you input the proper code and then weigh that food, the scale can give you information such as calories, cholesterol, and fiber for the exact amount of food being measured.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet, but it can be easy to overindulge in them, especially as many types expand during cooking, making it difficult to cook proper portion sizes. If you want to make sure you cook only one serving size of pasta, portion control pasta baskets can help. This tool hangs from the side of the pot which allows multiple baskets to fit in the pot. You can put one serving in several different baskets if you’re feeding your whole family, or you can make a single serving for yourself. These help you measure, cook, and strain the serving of pasta added.
Hand-forming meat makes it hard to gauge the portion size of each patty and can result in uneven shapes. Using hamburger moulder equipment can help you form uniform patties quicker when preparing to grill. This is a good way to stretch your ingredients when you’re preparing for a big barbeque. It’s also helpful for maintaining even portion sizes if you’re cooking for yourself or your family.
Portion plates are a useful tool to ensure you are getting the right amount for each food group when prepping meals. Some designs are simply plates with food groups indicated on them or indentations for portioning your food. Similarly, there are stencil-like tools that you can put on a plate with indications for appropriate portion sizes for each food group. Once the food is plated, you can remove the tool.
Why is Portion Control Important?
You only need a certain amount of protein, carbohydrates, and nutrients each day to stay healthy. Portion control prevents overeating while helping you get the necessary nutrients each day. It is useful for weight management or for if you are using an exercise plan requiring you to count calories. Portion control also allows you to serve dishes with pre-measured portions at home. This way, you can avoid family-style meals that tempt overly large or uneven helpings.
Whether you are managing your weight or serving uniform portions for a party, these four tools can make the process easier. These and other tools can help you standardize your portion sizes to keep them regular every time you cook.