Suggested Servings from Each Food Group

Updated:Nov 20,2014

This table shows the suggested number of servings from each food group based on a daily intake of 1,600 or 2,000 calories. There is a right number of calories for you, depending on your age, physical activity level and whether you are trying to lose, gain or maintain your weight.  Use our Fats and Sodium Explorer tool to get your personal daily calories.

If you need fewer calories than shown below, decrease the number of servings and increase the servings if you need more calories.



Food Type 1,600 Calories 2,000 Calories Examples of One Serving
Grains

At least half of your servings should be whole-grain.
6 servings per day  6-8 servings per day
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 oz dry cereal (check nutrition label for cup measurements of different products)
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal (about the size of a baseball)
Vegetables

Eat a variety of colors and types
3-4 servings per day  4-5 servings per day
  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)
  • 1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables
  • 1/2 cup vegetable juice
Fruits

Eat a variety of colors and types
4 servings per day  4-5 servings per day
  • 1 medium fruit (about the size of a baseball)
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice
Fat-free or low-fat dairy Products 2-3 servings per day  2-3 servings per day 
  • 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
  • 1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • 1 and 1/2 oz fat-free or low-fat cheese (about the size of 6 stacked dice)
Lean meats, poultry, and seafood 3-6 oz (cooked) per day  Less than 6 oz per day 
  • 3 oz cooked meat (about the size of a computer mouse)
  • 3 oz grilled fish (about the size of a checkbook)
Fats and oils

Use liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine most often
2 servings per day  2-3 servings per day
  • 1 tsp soft margarine
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp regular or 2 Tbsp low-fat salad dressing (fat-free dressing does not count as a serving)
Nuts, seeds, and legumes 3-4 servings per week  4-5 servings per week
  • 1/3 cup or 1 and 1/2 oz nuts
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp or 1/2 oz seeds
  • 1/2 cup dry beans or peas
Sweets and added sugars 0 servings per week  5 or fewer servings per week
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp jelly or jam
  • 1/2 cup sorbet and ices
  • 1 cup lemonade

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