Selecting the right foods also means choosing portions that are proper serving sizes. The terms "portion" and "serving" are often used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing.|
A "portion" is the amount of food you choose to eat for meals or snacks (like a plateful of pasta or a handful of raisins). In comparison a "serving" is the amount of food that experts recommend you eat (like 1 cup of milk or 1 ounce of bread). Servings are listed on a food's nutrition facts label too.
When choosing your portion, try to make it as close as possible to these recommended serving sizes.
Grains: Aim for 6-11 servings each day. Choose whole grains whenever possible.
Fruits and Vegetables: Aim for 5-9 total servings each day. Choose fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible.
- Bread: 1 ounce (1 small slice, 1/2 bagel, 1/2 bun), or about the size of an index card
- Cooked Grains: 1/2 cup cooked oats, rice or pasta, or about the size of a billiard ball
- Dry cereal: 1/2 cup flakes, puffed rice or shredded wheat, or about the size of a billiard ball
- Raw fruit: 1/2 cup raw, canned or frozen fruit, or about the size of billiard ball
- Dried fruit: 1/4 cup raisins, prunes or apricots, or about the size of an egg
- Juice: 6 oz 100% fruit or vegetable juice, or about the size of a hockey puck
- Raw vegetables: 1 cup leafy greens, baby carrots or about the size of a baseball
- Cooked vegetables: 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, potatoes, or about the size of a billiard ball
Meat and Beans: Aim for 2-3 servings each day. Choose lean meats and plant proteins whenever possible.
Dairy: Aim for 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Choose low- or non-fat products whenever possible.
- Meat & Tofu: 2-3 oz cooked beef, poultry, fish or tofu, or about the size of a deck of cards
- Beans: 1/2 cup cooked beans, split peas or legumes, or about the size of a billiard ball
- Nuts & Seeds: 2 tbsp nuts, seeds or nut butters, or about the size of a ping pong ball
Fats & Oils: Eat fats and oils sparingly and in small portions. Choose heart-healthy fats whenever possible.
- Cheese: 1 ounce or 1 thin slice of cheese, or about the size of a pair of dice
- Milk: 1 cup milk, yogurt or non-dairy milk alternative, or about the size of a baseball
- Fat & Oil: 1 tsp butter, margarine or oil, or about the size of one die