Food Serving Styles

Food serving styles

Food serving styles vary from home to home. Some plate their dinners' restaurant style while others serve family style meals! Some even serve their meal in courses, although most of us reserve that type of serving for very special occasions. Does it matter in the scheme of things? Is one better than another? Is this even worth thinking about? Yes, one is a healthy diet habit to promote and one choice is an unhealthy diet habit that might lead to portion distortion!

Restaurant style meals are those that are served already plated. You as the server determine what and how much your family will eat. Family style meals are those in which you place the serving dishes on the table and allow your family to plate what they would enjoy eating.


The Pros and Cons of Food Serving Styles:

Served Plate

Restaurant Style Meal Serving or You serve:

  • Allows you to plate the proper portions of food on each person's plate. A problem could arise if the server did not know proper portions.

  • Allows you to teach and practice the half plate rule.

  • Allows you to put the leftovers away for next day lunches and ultimately saves you money as you practice food frugality.

  • Discourages overeating because seconds are skipped, accept salads or vegetables.

  • Allows you to eat slowly and enjoy your food, rather than racing to get seconds of your favorites.

  • It's easier and requires no serving bowls, just serve from the pans at the stove. Very streamlined and therefore less dishes to wash.

  • The one con is that this serving style could discourage kids from developing proper decision making about foods and cause friction at the table when kids are served foods that they dislike.

Family Style Meals or Self serve:

  • Could lead to overeating because most people overestimate proper portions.

  • Could lead to eating unbalanced meals. People choose the foods they love, and avoid foods they dislike, which is often vegetables or salads.

  • Could encourage seconds because your favorite foods are right in front of you.

  • Could encourages eating when you are already full just to finish off the remaining food.

  • Could encourage mindless eating when you grab food while waiting for others to finish.

  • People given unlimited foods will eat more.

  • Requires serving dishes and therefore more dishes to wash.

  • Could cause tension as you try to micromanage serving sizes and food choices chosen by family members.


Serve yourself donuts

Which food serving style is best? Serving restaurant style is the clear winner and the lifestyle solution to adopt! The cook controls what the family eats. Two thirds of our population is overweight or obese. Great habits start at home and restaurant style serving allows you to teach healthy eating, proper portion control, and nutrition basics that promote weight control. You can prepare extra servings of vegetables and salads and avoid tempting seconds on higher calorie foods!

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