Could New Dinnerware Be Your Key to Success?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Control over what goes on our plate is an important but difficult part of weight management. There are a variety of products that can take the guesswork out of portion control as well as everyday items that can be used as portion size visual cues. Many predict the new MyPlate icon will serve as a visual teaching tool, helping people build healthy meals in correct portion sizes.
Some nutrition and health professionals use MyPlate food models to demonstrate correct portion sizes and meal planning. Since food models are expensive and are more directed toward educational settings, printable diagrams demonstrating visual cues on a plate provide a more helpful approach for home use. Now new dinnerware has emerged to help families make proper portion control a daily success.

The Portion Plate
These printed and divided plates can help you apply healthy portion control and meal planning habits each time you eat. The melamine plates are 9 ½ inches in diameter for adults and are dishwasher safe and contain food photos or pictures of everyday objects which are great for teens. The children's plate is also made of melamine and dishwasher safe but only 8 ¾ inches in diameter  with cute food people or child-friendly objects. For those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, there is a diabetes portion plate as well.
Precise Portions
If bold, colorful graphics and melamine plates are not what you want on your dinner table, these porcelain dishes might be more your cup of tea. If you want a teaching tool and nice dishes, the vine design with a printed food guide might be for you.  If you are looking for a less noticeable portion control plate, the Precision Portions Plate might be the perfect combination of teaching tool and style.  This elegantly styled china dinnerware was designed by dietitians and is 100 percent microwave and dishwasher safe. You can select 10 inch rimmed dinner plates or complete place settings that includes bowls with measurements from 1/2 cup to 2 cup portions and glasses that help you pour 4 oz or 8 oz servings. Instead of relying on scales or measuring cups for your day-to-day favorites, these pre-marked but attractive dinnerware tools keep your entire family on the right track.

This linked video explains how new dinnerware could help your family and friends eat within the US Dietary Guidelines without relying on weighing or measuring.

Tell us what you think about these new portion control tools.
Do you think products of this type will help people make smarter meal choices? What benefits or drawbacks do you see with portion control products that rely on visualization instead of exact weight or measure?

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I have a set of child's plate / utensils. It REALLY helps -- and don't forget to measure portions! Report
I think this is a great idea, in fact, Chinet has plates that are portioned also. I rarely use my "dinner" plates because they are too big and prefer to use a salad plate for my meals which, for me, really helps with portions. I would like to find a glass plate that is sectioned like the chinet plate, being a solo person I wouldn't have a problem with just getting one plate. I think this is a great idea especially if you are a visiual person. Report
The one I like best is the precise portions without the printed-on food guide; I don't need to see labels like "protein" "veggies" etc. to know how to fill my plate. And anyway it doesn't always work out that way--lunch today for example had tuna, noodles, and broccoli all mixed together and it was both delicious and relatively healthy--and balanced.

I don't really have any driving need to replace my plates. I like the ones that I have now, and none of portion control sets I have seen so far at least come with tea cups and I won't get a set of dishes that doesn't. Report
Use a plate that is not too big, fill half with delicious veggies, fill a quarter with a starchy side, and a quarter with a meat or alternative. It is not that hard! Using your brain is a lot cheaper than spending $25/plate! Report
interesting, but i still feel more comfortable measuring my food portions. Report
Definitely if someone really wants change. 18 months ago when I really got serious, I purchased new Food Network white dishes I found in a store. They had smaller size plates and bowls, just plain white, but these made a huge difference for me. The small bowls are only the size of one oatmeal serving, and smaller plate is just a lunch size. It fits 1/2 sandwich, fruit, and veggies nicely. Visually I felt I was getting more food because that plate or bowl was full. It was easier to measure fruit as well, as long as it fit in that bowl it was one or two servings depending on the fruit. It helped me limit my yogurt too. It really made an impact on my portion control, and I continue to use those to this day. I would have loved to have the new ones and probably will still look for them. My goal is to stop tracking, and just be mindful of portions and well rounded meals. Report
I will look for these dishes, I'd love to have them....I do have a blue plate and a blue bowl. I don't find, they work, like they said they would. I still eat too much using them. Report
Although the portion dinnerware will never provide as exact a measurement as weighing or measuring, it will come close enough and has the advantage that people will be more likely to use it. It's more convenient to "eyeball" the portion size by using the right size plate or glass than by whipping out the scale or measuring cup. And people are creatures of convenience, whether we like to admit it or not. Report
I bought a Perfect Portions plate yesterday for $5. Very inexpensive and easy to use. I'll see how it works! Report
I love the idea even though I get my portions pretty right most of the time. I had considered buying some for family members for Christmas, but the price is just ridiculous! Report
I thought some of the dinnerware was cute and I might have been interested in the vine design... but the price is way out there:( for me! Guess I'll just have to continue useing small plates and what I've already learned from SparkPeople about portion control. Report
I'll stay with my digital scale. Report
I am glad I came to Spark, I use smaller plates now to manage what I eat and I am getting better at tracking my intact and getting more exercise in. I am very happy. Report
I think if you divide your plate in portion sizes with you starches, vegetables and proteins the way they suppose to be it works out cheaper than to spend that sort of money in these trying days. Report
I love this idea. Iwould find it really helpful, but I think it should be cheaper. I wonder though, why not have protion place mats? then we could use our existing dinnerware and have a portion size guide right in front of us at the same time? Here's a product idea for Spark People, a suite of portion size place mat posters that we could print out and use as placemats, and if we wanted to we could laminate them ourselves...
Oh, and can't you get plates and mugs printed for yourself? though perhaps these are a bit pricey.
The scales are more practical for my budget. I did buy nice salad plates at big lots and it allows my portions to look bigger. Report
A lot of money for a visual reminder. The scale is cheaper. Report
Pricey product but still a good idea. If you can manage to visualize the division of the plate on one you already have, good for you! Save some money.

For some people, this type of "reminder" will be worth the $$ so if it helps...splurge on yourself.

Some similar version that is less expensive is bound to pop up in the near future.

Plus, for anyone who is going to make a stack of food 4 inches high to "cheat", well, they'll see the results (or lack there of) soon enough! Report
It's a wonderful idea, but I just don't think the average family is willing to spend $100 for one meal's worth of plates! I personally don't have trouble remembering how my plate should look, but I know a lot of people who do. It's also a really nice tool for teaching kids about nutrition. The price just isn't right for me. Report
I prefer my digital scale. Report
I'd much rather use my food scale than spend $25 on one plate... Report
I guess if you need the visual cues, it's great, but I find the plate method so easy to remember personally. Report
Excuse me! $25 for one plate? Oh, come now. I can get a scale a measuring tools for less than that! I could also get two cups of pasta into one of the small areas, not to mention a piece of pie! As another Spark member pointed out, a portion is a three-dimensional item, but the plates only allow for two dimensional measuring. I'll stick to my scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons, thank you. Report
I could paint that on my plates for a lot cheaper. But for now I think I will stick to measuring. Report
Awesome idea, but like Britomart says, they say how big of a space to put the serving in, but not how high. Measuring is still a good idea, but I do think the childrens plate is awesome. Another bad thing about this, is the plates are incredibly expensive! Report
The plates are certainly a good idea, but way too expensive for a plastic plate. They also don't take into account casseroles. What would you do, for example, with a piece of broccoli, mushroom, noodle casserole (see the first Moosewood Cookbook)? Curried lentils and vegetable casserole? Report
the precise portion plates/bowl/glass are a great idea, but is one plate really $24.99?? Report
I prefer to measure--the plate gives a 'footprint' size, but not 'altitude,' and I'm a very experienced packer!

It certainly makes you feel like you are dining out in a nice restaurant you rest and relax. Report
I think it is easier (and less expensive) to measure before putting it on your plate. The plates, though plainly divided, can still be stacked. For children, I think it is a great idea and product. Report
If you buy the Sonoma Diet Book, it shows you plate size, bowl size and how to fill them. A lot cheaper and even if you don't follow the mediteranian diet the homemade marinades, sauces, recipes, and salad dressings are worth the price of the book. Report