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Determine How Much Goes on the Plate

A portion is the amount of food that you choose to eat for a meal or snack. You are in charge of deciding the size of your portions.

A serving is the recommended portion size for certain foods and is used as a reference on nutrition labels.  Examples include: one slice of bread or one cup (eight ounces) of juice. Serving sizes are standard for similar items.  Many packages that are consumed as a single portion actually contain multiple servings!

 An example:

proper serving

Although this soda is a single portion, it has multiple servings.  That means that instead of consuming 100 Calories, you are really consuming 250 Calories!  Scroll down to the bottom of this page to learn what a standard serving size looks like.

myplateGuidelines for Determining What to Put On Your Plate

ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends that half of your plate be fruits and vegetables, with more vegetables than fruit.  Additionally, it recommends that half your plate be grains and protein, with more grains than protein.  And lastly, it recommends 3 cups of dairy a day for most people.   See the table below to learn the specific serving recommendations for everyone in the family.

Recommended Servings

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* Adults (age 50 and over), and Children and Teens (ages 9-18) need 3 servings from the Milk Group

What does a serving size look like?

Grains: Make at least ½ your grains whole grains.
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Fruits: Buy fresh or frozen whenever possible and cut back on juice. Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 11.09.06 PM

Vegetables: Eat a variety of colors and don’t forget the leafy greens.
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Protein: Choose lean meats, fish, tofu, or beans.
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Dairy: Switch to low- or non-fat options.
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References:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov
http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/nibbles/pyramid_servings.pdf

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