DIY Portion Control Plate


Making your own portion control plates can be a fun activity for kids and reinforce balanced eating.

While purchasing a portion control plate is quite affordable, I encourage families to spend some time to make their own. So many kids benefit from visual learning. This way, they can use their creativity, their hands, and their minds altogether.

DIY portion control plates

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What’s included in a portion control plate?

I like to start with an image of a portion control plate, either pulled up on a screen, printed out, or a real portion control plate. The basics of creating your own plate should include the basic dietary guidelines. These are:

  • Half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • 1/4 of your plate for proteins
  • 1.4 of your plate for grains.

It’s helpful to have picture ideas of foods from the different food groups for you or your kids to mimic.

How to make a portion control plate

Permanent Plate Ideas (ones you can eat on!)

Porcelain plate

This porcelain DIY plate is made from a ‘paint your own‘ kit. This method is fun for kids (and for you if it’s a personal project) because the designs are painted on porcelain and baked in.

making a portion control plate
Ceramic Plate

Another permanent idea is a ceramic portion plate. There are fun locations like a franchise “Color Me Mine“, where you can make your own ceramics, leave the plate there to be fired, and return a few days later to pick up your finished plate.

Glass plates

Painting on the back of glass can make a beautiful plate! Check out this one from Chica and Jo.

Glass etching is also an idea, but I’ll be honest about this one. I bought the supplies on Amazon, I read the instructions, and it honestly seemed too complicated and involved. So, while I own the supplies, I never actually made this! Here is someone that did though.

glass etching a diy portion control plate

The temporary portion control plate

Food safe markers on glass or ceramic

This was actually the project we had the most fun with. I found some food safe markers that can be used on glass or ceramic. I also grabbed some smaller plates just for the project at Target. The fun thing about these is you can actually eat off of it, but then it washes off with a wet towel or in the dishwasher.

The disposable portion control plate

Paper plate art project

And finally, perfect for the classroom, is the paper plates. This wouldn’t be a plate you would eat from, but it does a great job reinforcing the message about portion control and the Choose MyPlate dietary guidelines..

You can either cut photos out of magazines and grocery sale ads to paste onto your plate, like this.

Or, using paint, markers, chalk, or pens, practice your art and draw on a paper plate, like this one.

So, there are a few ideas for how you can make your own DIY portion control plate! Of course, I’d love for you to buy some portion control plates as well! Get them on Amazon here!

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