Serving Sizes 

How Do Your Portion Sizes Measure Up?

There’s a difference between portion sizes and serving sizes. Portions are what you choose to eat, whereas servings are the amounts recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture. Recommended serving sizes are as follows:

Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese 2-3 Servings
1 cup of milk or yogurt
1 ½ ounces of natural cheese
2 ounces of process cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts 2-3 Servings
2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish
½ cup of cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of
peanut butter count as 1 ounce of lean meat

Vegetable 3-5 Servings
1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
½ cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw
½ cup of vegetable juice

Fruit 2-4 Servings
1 medium apple, banana, orange ½ cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
½ cup of fruit juice

Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta 6-11 Servings
1 slice of bread
1 ounce of ready-to-eat-cereal ½ cup of cooked cereal, rice, pasta

What Do Serving Sizes Look Like

three ounces of meat = the size of a palmthree ounces of meat = the size of a palm

one medium piece of fruit or 15 grapes = tennis ballone medium piece of fruit or 15 grapes = tennis ball

one cup raw, leafy green vegetables = the size of a fistone cup raw, leafy green vegetables = the size of a fist

chopped vegetables or fruit = one half of a fistone half cup cereal, cooked pasta, rice, cooked or raw or chopped vegetables or fruit = one half of a fist

one ounce of cheese = a thumbone ounce of cheese (one and a half - two ounces is a serving) = a thumb

one teaspoon = a thumb tipEat small amounts of high-fat foods - one teaspoon = a thumb tip

Snacks

one ounce of nuts and small candies = one handful one ounce of nuts and small candies = one handful, Chips and pretzels = 2 handfuls

Single portion sizes and guides

  • Nickel (diameter) = 2 oz dry spaghetti = 1 cup cooked spaghetti
  • Tennis Ball = 1 medium fruit, 1 cup cooked rice or 15 grapes
  • Baseball = 12 oz potato or 1 cup cold cereal/corn flakes/granola
  • Deck of Playing Cards = 3 oz of meat
  • 1” Wood Cube = 1 oz cheese
  • Compact Disk (CD) Case = 1 slice bread
  • Matchbook = 1 Tbsp oil, salad dressing, or mayonnaise
  • Computer Mouse = ½ cup rice, pasta or vegetables