Family Size: Yeah, We’ve Got Eleven Kids

They say all portions of food are bigger in the US. I wouldn’t know, because I rarely eat more than an appetizer. It feels like a meal to me. What I have seen, however, is the cups you get when you buy a soda. At some convenience stores, a 32 oz cup of Coke will cost you less than a dollar. I don’t know the exact prices (comments are appreciated on this), but that’s quite a lot of Coke. For those of you who don’t know how much 32 oz would be in any other country using a normal measurement system: that’s almost a liter (930 ml). Twice as much as a large Coke (biggest size) at the Dutch McDonalds, which will only get you to 500 ml.

Family, orphanage, what's the difference.

Of course, bigger people need more food, so in that way the portions seem just appropriate. And it doesn’t stop at soda. When grocery shopping, packages are pretty large. Every now and then, my family likes ice cream after dinner. This means we get a family pack of ice cream. It’s filled with almost 500 ml of ice, which is pretty decent for six people. Apparently, families in the US average 46 people, as the contents of the family pack in the picture are over 8 times more than the ones I’m used to. That’s quite the family. Imagine feeding all those 46 people fresh vegetables. Thank goodness you’ve got cheap soda to fill ‘m up.

Anyone from a family of 46?


18 thoughts on “Family Size: Yeah, We’ve Got Eleven Kids

  1. I can’t tell you much I MISS my fatty over portioned American meals. I’ve gone out to eat here a few times (when I can afford it. . . I can’t get over how expensive a sit down restaurant is in Leiden) and noticed a huge decrease in the food I’ve received. I’m pretty sure my favorite comparison is the one you just mentioned– ice cream. I’m used to buying the huge tub size portions, but when my roommate and I walked down an isle all we could find were cute tiny ones– half the size of our big ice cream containers! Plus, we got a Mcflurry the other day down at the beach (we had to see the differences in an American version place as well) and were shocked to find that McDonald’s only had ONE size for their ice cream, and that one size would be considered a “mini” back home (at another ice cream shop they have quantities where you can buy up to 32 oz of ice cream at one time). The soda I used to drink all the time. Usually come May, gas stations promote “drink deals” for the hot weather. One is found at QT (hopefully you heard of it?) and last summer 32 oz drinks were .69 cents (or .59, I can’t remember. Each year the price usually increases. . . a few summers ago it used to be .49 cents). Where I live in Missouri, the gas station up the street sold 44 oz of soda for only .69 cents. I remember everyone in high school always bought one and drank it throughout the entire school day. Sorry for the rambling! You just got me excited about good ol Missouri once more 🙂 Yeah for European portion control!

    • As you can understand, when I’m not abroad, I NEVER go out to eat. Only to celebrate or on special occassions. I can imagine how you’d have the opposite reaction in food portions. Do you feel (you can decline to answer if it’s really inappropriate) it’s easier to eat healthy in the Netherlands?

      • Haha, I would love to say yes. . . but sadly, I am too fascinated by your many Dutch sweets (fresh stroopwafels from the market on Saturday is my weakness!) However, if I were to live permanently over here, it would depend on where I’m leaving. Meaning, our school’s dorms only have a stove top, no oven. I’m used to baking chicken in my apartment at home and making different casseroles. As opposed to now, I eat a lot more red meats and pasta. But I’m pretty sure that’s just because I don’t have any source of money coming in so I have to take the simple, cheap route. If I were able to have all the above, then I would probably eat healthier. I have a friend from Vienna that studies with me as well, and when he returns to Europe in the summer he always loses the extra 10 pounds he gained in the States. I will admit though, last semester in the States I went out to eat a lot, and since I can’t afford it here, that is the part I find myself being healthier.

      • Ahhh, stroopwafels. A well-known weakness. Were you here in winter to taste oliebollen? I do find vegetables here are WAY cheaper than in the US, which would make it easier to eat healthy. I can see how a lack of proper kitchen equipment could prevent eating really healthy. I used to cook in those dorms too, they’re not very practical.

      • I was here for part of your winter (I got here in the beginning of January) but I’ve never heard of oliebollen? What is it? Sounds interesting..

  2. I’m not Americian but I’ve been to an ‘all you can eat buffet’ in Texas some years back. For $5.00 I couldn’t believe what you could eat. Those big drinks have been getting bigger and bigger each year. No wonder there are so many over-weight people nowadays. UGH. Canada has those big drinks too as well as over fed people. And those big drinks are here too…don’t get me started! Again Ugh.

  3. This reminds me of a headline I saw a few days ago that said there’s a connection between obesity, comfort food and depression…it took them extensive scientific research to work that one out…

  4. By the way. . . I forgot to ask, what are your Easter traditions like in Leiden? I’m wondering if you guys dye eggs? Because we do back home, so I was curious where I would be able to find some egg dye if you guys do? Not sure where to look.

    • I don’t know what supermarket you usually go to, but I imagine they might have the gear. Haven’t painted any eggs since I was a kid, but I’d guess supermarkets (if you’re not too late).

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