The right portion size for treats

Everyone is different and has different calorie needs dependent on their weight, height and how much physical activity they do.


2,500 calories or 10,500 kilojoules


2,000 calories or 8,400 kilojoules

If you’d like to know more about calorie, energy and nutrition requirements, Public Health England’s Government Dietary Recommendations has more.

How do I know what’s the right portion size for a treat?

Treats such as chocolate can be energy dense which means you get more calories per gram than some other foods, such as fruit and vegetables. This is why you are encouraged to enjoy treats less often, in small amounts.

Knowing what’s the right portion size can sometimes be the biggest challenge to getting this right. It’s important to always look at the front and back of confectionery packets to understand the recommended serving size and how many calories are in each serving or packet.

Depending on the size of the confectionery pack, nutrition information is often clearly visible in a table on the back of pack. Sometimes nutrition information is written as if it were in a paragraph to save packaging space.

Sometimes I just can’t say no though. What do I do?

Treats are delicious which sometimes makes it harder to just have the occasional small portion. Here are some simple ideas to help you manage how much you eat:

Here are some simple ideas to help you manage how much you eat:

  • Eat slowly, enjoy and be mindful. The key to a balanced lifestyle is moderation, so you can treat yourself now and then with a little bit of what you fancy. But, do it mindfully; eat slowly and enjoy the treat, rather than mindlessly eating on the run or whilst doing something else. Eating mindfully will make you feel more satisfied, reducing the chance of overeating.
  • Think before you eat. Before you reach for the biscuit jar, think about whether you’re actually hungry, thirsty, or whether you’re just looking for a distraction. Often a walk and some fresh air will make you feel just as good.
  • Read the back of pack. Be aware and informed to help you make the best choice for you and your health.
  • Don’t supersize. You may find that a bite-sized bar will be enough to satisfy your craving.
  • Choose individually wrapped treats. You can help take self-control out of the equation by going for these smaller size treats.
  • Share with friends and family. Make it a friends and family affair. Treating with friends is always more fun.
  • Be prepared. Everyone knows how hard it can be to have a balanced lifestyle at celebratory times of the year. The constant supply of sweet treats can be too tempting, so keep healthier snacks to hand, like fruit, nuts, seeds, low fat yogurts, wholegrain breadsticks, oatcakes and vegetable sticks.

Be treatwise companies: helping you choose the right portions

250 calories

The calorie cap Mondelez International, Ferrero UK and Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK introduced on single-serve chocolates in 2015

Clear, easy to understand labelling such as the Be treatwise label

Help people understand portion size and encourage mindful eating habits

Packaging innovation

Re-sealable packaging to help people preserve their treats for a later date

Mondelez International

Increased portion control options across all products by 26% in 2015

Ferrero UK

Always been committed to small portions. More than 95% of products have serving sizes less than 150kcal

Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK

Removed 97% of all trans fats in products through reformulation between 2002 and 2010.