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Food Portions and Serving Sizes

  • By Cinya Burton

    One serving of the Grains Group is a pancake. That pancake should be the size of a compact disc. It's okay to have more than one pancake. The Food Guide Pyramid recommends 6 to 11 servings of the Grains Group (Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta) daily. A rule of thumb is to pick a variety from each food group to meet your daily servings (in other words you don't want 6 pancakes to meet your Grain quota).

    You can adjust servings according to your age and weight.

  • One cup of cereal is a serving of grain product, about the size of your fist. Remember you should have 6 to 11 servings of the Grains group daily, and about half of those servings should be whole grains.
  • One serving of fruit is a medium-sized apple or an orange -- the size of a baseball. You should have 2 to 4 servings of fruit daily.
  • One cup of salad greens is a serving of vegetables. You should have 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily.
  • One serving of dairy is 1 1/2 ounces of cheese, about the size of 4 stacked dice. You are allowed 2 to 3 servings of the Dairy Group (Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese) daily.
  • 3 ounces of grilled or baked fish is one serving of meat, equal to the area of the inside of your palm (no fingers). Remember you can have 2 to 3 servings of the Meat Group daily.
  • One serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards. The Food Guide Pyramid recommends 2 to 3 servings of the Meat Group (Red meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts) daily.
  • Two servings of dry spaghetti are 2 grains servings, and can be eyeballed to the circumference of a quarter. You are allowed 6 to 11 servings of the Grains group daily.
  • Did you know that a healthy serving of chocolate pudding (made with milk) is 1/2 a cup and can count as 1/2 a dairy serving? It's True!

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