One of the challenges of right-sizing portions is meeting the expectations of guests and not compromising on their perceived value equation. Try these clever plating techniques from chefs and researchers to help support a mission of moderation.
Experiment with plate size to create a perception of visual abundance.1
Make use of wide rims to frame the dish.1
Slice protein and fan pieces across plate.
Choose elongated, thinner cuts which may make items appear larger.2
Use sauces to create visual value around the edges of the plate, or pour sauce into a small ramekin to emphasize its presence and value.
Create visual interest with dark or bright sauces on white plates.
Arrange leafy vegetables to take up space on the plate.
Instead of one large piece of protein, offer two or more smaller pieces. Multiple items tend to increase the perceived amount of food more than overall size.3
Decrease the proportion of energy- dense items (e.g. meat, heavy sauces, starches) and increase the proportion of vegetables.
Use firmer textures since the more time food spends in the mouth (“oralexposure”) the more it increases satiety and satisfaction.4
1. McClain, van den Bos, Matheson, Desai, McClure and Robinson, 2013
2. Ordabayeva & Chandon, 2013
3. David Benton, 2015, Geier et al, 2006
4. Forde et al 2013