What guidance is there on portion size for feeding preschool aged children (one to five years) in the UK and Ireland? A systematic grey literature review

Alice Porter*, Ruth R Kipping, Carolyn Summerbell, Anca T Dobrescu, Laura Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

60 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Large portion sizes of food can lead to excessive energy intake and weight gain in young children. Although portion size guidance is available, parents are often unaware it exists. Our systematic grey literature review aimed to identify the portion size guidance resources in the UK and Ireland, aimed at users (e.g parents, childcare providers) responsible for feeding preschool aged children. We describe who the resources are aimed at, how they are informed and whether the recommended portion sizes are consistent across resources. Resources were identified via advanced Google searches, searching reference lists and contacting experts. Resources that provided quantifiable portion size information (e.g grams) were included. Portion sizes (grams) were extracted and energy equivalents (kcals) were calculated. Portion sizes were analysed by food group and by eating occasion. Twenty-two resources were identified. Median portion sizes were consistent across resources for fruit (40g (IQR=40-50)) and vegetables (40g (IQR=30-40)). Variability was observed in portion size and/or energy content for dairy (60g (IQR=25-93)), protein (72kcal (IQR=44-106)) and starchy (41g/71kcal (IQR=25-80/56-106)) food groups. The range in size of an average eating occasion was large (90g-292g). This review identifies resources that could help caregivers to choose appropriate portion sizes for preschool aged children but also highlights how future resources could be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalObesity Reviews
Early online date26 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2020

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences

Keywords

  • Portion size
  • Food
  • preschool
  • Guidance
  • resources

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