Healthy Portions? What’s Your Correct Serving Size?


The back of the candy bar said it contained two servings. The doctor said to eat a piece of chicken the size of a bar of soap. And I’ve heard that an ounce of cheese is equivalent to a pair of dice. Is this the best we’ve got to measure our portions?

healthy portions - what's a serving size

First, portion and serving size are two different things. To me, a portion of mashed potatoes may drop from an ice cream scoop. That’s all I want. To someone else, a portion may be the size of their dinner plate. 

Or I may want just one portion of each food– meaning one helping. But someone else gets seconds and thirds and thinks they’ve eaten their desired portion of food that evening. 

So, let’s throw out the word portion and concentrate of serving-size. That way, it doesn’t matter if I want one dinner roll for my portion and the guy next to me wants four. A serving is a serving no matter who eats it.

Each day we need:

  • 5 servings of vegetables 
  • 4 servings of fruit
  • 6 servings of grains
  • 3 servings of dairy
  • 3 servings of fats and oils

Each week we need:

  • 8-9 servings of meat, poultry, and eggs
  • 2-3 servings of fish
  • 5 servings of nuts, seeds, and grains

Now, how do we measure those servings? We can weight them, measure them and compare them or keep a handy chart nearby until we have it memorized.

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