After two years on a commercial diet plan, Patty Cocchiarella was tired of measuring food portions.

“I had to measure everything, I had to weigh everything,” she said.

One night she awoke from a dream and sketched out the vision she had of a product.

She developed the drawing into “The Meal Measure,” a plastic container that has three holes the size of a cup cut into it.

The container is laid on a plate, then food is scooped into each cup-hole. The holes have a mark for a half-cup, which is the USDA’s suggested portion size for fruits, vegetables, and starch.

“It’s actually easier to measure your food this way because you’re not stuffing it into a measuring cup and digging it out and plopping it on your plate,” said Cocchiarella. “It’s just one quick measure and then you’re done.”

Photo by WCCO.com.