What is a Serving?

Updated:Feb 18,2015

Bowls containing grapes, peaches, and plumsGrains: 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta (about the size of a 1/2 baseball).

Vegetables: 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist), 1/2 cup of other vegetables or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice.

Fruits: 1 medium fruit (medium is defined as the size of a baseball); 1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit; or 1/2 cup juice.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans and Nuts: 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish; 1/2 cup cooked dry beans; or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese: 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces fat-free or low-fat cheese.

I can’t possibly eat that many servings of vegetables, etc.!
Before you decide that you can’t eat as many servings of ANYTHING as suggested, think small fist, baseball, hockey puck and a computer mouse. These are all things that describe a “serving size.” The comparisons will help you eat more of the things you need and less of the things you don’t.

  • One serving of raw leafy vegetables or a baked potato should be about the size of a small fist. A serving is a lot smaller than most people think.
  • A cup of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt, or a medium fruit should equal about the size of a baseball.
  • A half a bagel is about the size of a hockey puck and represents a serving from the grains group.
  • Three ounces of cooked lean meat or poultry is about the size of a computer mouse. Three ounces of grilled fish is about the size of a checkbook.
  • A teaspoon of soft margarine is about the size of one die.
  • An ounce of fat-free or low-fat cheese is about the size of six stacked dice.

This content was last reviewed on 12/18/2014.


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