Small Victories logo Dept of Family & Consumer Science logo Learner objective
What you need
Lesson Content
Handout [html] [pdf]
Full Plate Image
•Press Release [Word]
•Evaluation [Word]
Rate a Full Plate

Lesson Plan

Learner objective

As a result of this presentation, participants will:

  • Appreciate the power of portion control - that they can have a full plate, eat their favorite foods, and still feel good after they eat


What you need
  • Photo image of 2 plates
    • Note:  Your Small Victories CD contains the photo image, which you can use or adapt in several different ways, including the following:
      • Use a laptop computer and multi-media projector to show the image on your CD.
      • Have image blown up to a larger size and mounted on form core by your local copy shop.
      • Make color copies for each participant.
      • Make one copy of the image and pass it around to participants.
    • Also included in this section of your notebook is a color print of the image.
  • Laptop computer with CD drive and multi-media projector (if you use the photo image from the CD).


Time Content/Suggestions Learning Reinforcer
10 min. In introducing the lesson, you may want to make this point:  The overall focus of the presentation is the broad concept of portion control, not absolute measurements or strict calorie counting.

Show the image.  Make sure the plate with more gravy, stuffing, potatoes, turkey skin, salad dressing, and cranberry sauce appears on the left.  Ask viewers to rate the 2 plates in terms of similarities and differences, and to share their thoughts.

  • Differences
    • Larger amounts of gravy, stuffing, potatoes, turkey skin, salad dressing, cranberry sauce (higher-fat/higher-sugar foods on left)
    • Larger amounts of green beans and tossed salad (lower fat/lower sugar foods) on right
  • Similarities:  Both plates have same food items - only amounts differ.

Ask for volunteers to guess which plate has more calories and ask what the calorie difference is.

Photo image & discussion

Rate the Full Plate

  Distribute the handout.  Ask views to note the following:
  • Calories/serving sizes down left side are for left plate - 1100 calories
  • Calories/serving sizes down right side are for right plate - 550 calories

Compare the calorie differences on the handout to volunteers' estimates.  Ask for comments.

Handout:  "Rate a Full Plate" & Discussion
10 min. Refer to the photo image and the handout.
  • Ask the audience to compare serving sizes and calorie differences of the food items on the two plates.  Discuss the relationship between calorie levels in individual foods and the food's fat/sugar content.
  • Point out that the same portion-control principle can apply to the following:
    • Dessert:  2" slice of pumpkin pie with 1 Tbsp. whipped cream has half the calories of a 4" slice with 2 Tbsp.
    • Other favorite meals or food combinations.  Ask for examples.

Ask if anyone has a preference for either plate, emphasizing that there are no right or wrong answers.  Discuss responses, emphasizing the following points:

  • You may prefer the left plate.
  • However, when trying to moderate food intake, learning to prefer plates like the one on the right will help harness "the power of portion control."
Photo image & Discussion
5 min.


Reinforce the bottom line:

  • With portion control, you can
    • Have a full plate,
    • Eat the foods you like, and
    • Feel satisfied but not overstuffed.
  • In other words, you can
    • Enjoy the foods you like while you eat, and
    • Feel good - physically and mentally - after you leave the table.
Evaluation form


Developed by Suzy Pelican originally for the Nutrition and Dietetics Training Program, Indian Health Service.  Adapted by Suzy Pelican and Darlene Christensen for Small Victories, a mini-lesson series promoting positive food, physical activity, and body image attitudes and behaviors.  Small Victories reflects the mission and principles of WIN Wyoming, a multi-agency, multi-state network that promotes healthy lifestyles instead of a specific body size, shape, or weight.  WIN Wyoming is coordinated through Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.  0203; slightly revised 0706
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Glen Whipple, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.  Persons seeking admission, employment, or access to program of the University of Wyoming Shall be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact their local UW CES Office.  To file a complaint, write the UW Employment Practices/Affirmative Action Office, University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3434, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3434.  The University of Wyoming and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperate.
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Updated on 10/18/2006