A Serving of Cereal


There’s nothing like eating a box of PB Puffins a week for two weeks to know that my cereal portion sizes are a little off. I finally pulled out my Salter food scale and measured out a serving. A serving of cereal is not as big as we all wish it would be.

I am working from home now and that means the kitchen is always calling my name. After a few weeks of too many handfuls of this or that, I finally have it figured out. For me that means 3 meals and 2 snacks every day, just like when I worked in an office. I try to think the meals out in the morning so that I know I always have a snack or a meal ready to go the next time I am hungry. I do that because it is much easier to make healthy choices when I am not hungry, and planning meals is the perfect tool.

One food that kept calling my name was the cereal box. I love cereal, and I especially love PB Puffins, but I did not realize how small a serving is!

Here is 1 serving (3/4 cup) of Peanut Butter Puffins in a mini bowl I have (next to a Sharpie and a remote control for size comparison):

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And here is 1 serving of Peanut Butter Puffins in the bowl I usually eat from:

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This is how much cereal I would put in the bowl without thinking:

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That would be over 3 servings of cereal. A lot of us munch on crackers or cereal mindlessly, but really, a serving is easy to eat in just a small handful! I try to be mindful of portions, but it is so hard with cereal!

What food is hard for you to portion out appropriately? I have the same problem with grapes, as I could eat an entire bunch in one sitting without thinking twice, and have. Now I use those mini white bowls for snacks like grapes or cereal as it contains a perfect serving of either.

I also wanted to share with all of you that I am blogging about my training efforts for the half marathon PB and I are running over where I used to blog about wedding planning: rhodeygirlandphillyboy.wordpress.com. The half marathon is the one in Philly on November 22nd, and the plan we are following is the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training Plan- Intermediate. Feel free to join me there as I document our training.

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24 responses to “A Serving of Cereal

  1. Great post! It’s so true, you can very easily overdo cereal, crackers and other snacky foods. I tell my clients to measure those out before eating. Especially important for people trying to lose weight. Thanks for the visual.

  2. This is exactly why I measure out my cereal each morning and why I always resist grabbing handfuls of it in the evening. However, I have the grabbing problem with grapes. I will grab handfuls of grapes without even thinking about it.

  3. I definitely utilize mini-bowls (or small cups, mugs ramekins) for snackage. And I have the same cereal problem – that’s why I know that if I buy cereal (which I’m not buying as much anymore) I need to buy cereal low in sugar where I can get a serving of greater volume for less calories. A store by me sells organic flax flakes, which are one option I love. Honey Kix (while kid friendly haha) actually have a really high volume/ low calorie ratio (I think a serving size is 1.25 cups for 120 calories?)

    Good luck with your half marathon training!

  4. Such an important wake-up call. Definitely a good idea to keep ourselves in check once in a while!

    I remember a while back you were considering getting your PT/group fitness certs…is that still in the cards for you?

  5. Holly: Yes I got my Group Fitness Certification through AFAA, but haven’t gone to apply for a job yet! Whoops! I am still trying to get settled here before I add something else to my schedule.

  6. FABULOUS that you two are running a half marathon! That is so exciting! I hear ya on portion control. I use to be a cereal monster and hardly eat it any more because I just wanted a monster serving! Instead I’ve gone towards high fiber veggies and fruits to fill my belly πŸ˜‰ Its what works for me but I know its different for everyone. Have a good day ❀

  7. That’s awesome that you guys are doing the half together!! Good luck with your training πŸ™‚

  8. I had a big wake up call when I saw what a real portion of cereal was. I measure mine every morning just to keep myself in check. I think back & I was easily eating 2-3 servings of cereal every morning, thinking I was eating light! And ditto Meghann – One thing I cannot keep my hands off are grapes – I can literally eat a package of grapes in 2 days. At least it is better than chips/crackers, right?

  9. It’s always amazing to see portions when they’re measured out like that. I think the one amazing thing to portion is nut butters – it seems like a serving would be bigger than what you get, but it’s not as big as I thought it was – I still LOVE eating almond and peanut butter tho πŸ™‚

  10. Oh I don’t EVEN want to see how many servings I’m actually putting in my bowl when I eat cereal! lol Wow, I’m going to start measuring it out!

  11. bananaandchocolate

    It is so hard for me to eat one serving of cereal. I’m with you, I wish it was much larger!

  12. I measure my cereal and use smaller bowls to trick myself!

  13. Cereal is definitely a problem for me too. It’s such a good snack and so easy to eat from the box without even realizing how much you’re eating. I could eat cereal all day long. I have started to measure it out also now because my cereal portions were a little out of control too.

  14. I actually take out a measuring cup too when it comes to cereal. I used to go overboard with it!

  15. My food that I can easily overeat on is trail mix, and that’s a really bad thing because it’s so calorie dense. I HAVE TO pre-portion it into little baggies, or else it’s no good. I can seriously eat the entire bag in one sitting! Same with nuts actually. I don’t pre-portion nuts, but I started limiting myself to 1 handful at at a time. That’s it.

  16. Ugh – I hate finding out that serving sizes are sooo much tinier that what I’ve actually been eating…wretched. I’ve started snacking out of tinier bowls so it seems like I’ve got a lot to work with! πŸ˜‰

  17. Noooooo!!!! Not my precious cereal!

    I think cereal and ice cream are the two things I MUST always have several “servings” of!

  18. destroying my dreams of cereal calories dont count!!!! haha

    i always have to use small bowls.. then talk myself out of going for a second one.. i wish they could find a way to lower the calorie count on cereal so we could have 5 servings of it and not feel guilty! lol

  19. puffins are dangerous for me! i just can’t stop eating them they are so goooooodddd! i go through those boxes like quicksand!

  20. I always have to count out crackers before eating them- otherwise I woof down two or three servings without even realizing it! I think the smaller bowl trick is key. I love your black and white bowls, by the way- so cute!

  21. this is why i very rarely eat cereal w/ milk for breakfast. that is a serving, but come on – who does that fill or satisfy? adding yogurt, especially greek, is much better.

  22. Great post! Cereal portions are definitely something I underestimate

  23. Very true!! i am the same way!! expecially with PB puffins.. i finnish a box in a week.!!

  24. I would like to comment again. This is depressing.

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