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How Much Does One Serving Size Equal

  • Date: 2014/09/12 (Rev. 2015/01/23)
  • Disabled World - Disabled World
  • Synopsis : Examples of a serving size for the five main food groups we should consume each day.

Main Document

Today, nutrition labels contain product-specific information like serving size, calories, and nutrient information.

The first place to start when you look at the nutrition facts label is the serving size and the number of servings in the package.

Serving sizes are standardized to make it easier to compare similar foods; they are provided in familiar units, such as cups or pieces, followed by the metric amount, e.g., the number of grams. Information on nutrition labels can vary with each food product.

Pay attention to the serving size, especially how many servings there are in the food package.

U.S.D.A. Dietary Guidelines encourages people to eat at least the lowest number of servings from the five food groups each day.

Picture of GrapefruitHow much is a serve of milk*, yogurt*, cheese and/or alternatives

  • 3/4 cup (200g) yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) ricotta cheese
  • A standard serve is (500-600kJ):
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) evaporated milk
  • 2 slices (40g) or 4 x 3 x 2cm cube (40g) of hard cheese, such as cheddar
  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
  • 1 cup (250ml) soy, rice or other cereal drink with at least 100mg of added calcium per 100ml

*Choose mostly reduced fat

If you do not eat any foods from this group, try the following foods, which contain about the same amount of calcium as a serve of milk, yogurt, cheese or alternatives (note: the kilojoule content of some of these serves (especially nuts) is higher so watch this if trying to lose weight).

  • 100g almonds with skin
  • 60g sardines, canned in water
  • 1/2 cup (100g) canned pink salmon with bones
  • 100g firm tofu (check the label as calcium levels vary)

How much is a serve of fruit

A standard serve is about 150g (350kJ) or:

  • 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
  • 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
  • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)

Or only occasionally:

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) fruit juice (no added sugar)
  • 30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 11/2 tablespoons of sultanas)

How much is a serve of grain(cereal) food

A standard serve is (500kJ) or:

  • 1 (60g) crumpet
  • 3 (35g) crisp-breads
  • 1/4 cup (30g) muesli
  • 1 slice (40g) bread
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cooked porridge
  • 1/2 medium (40g) roll or flat bread
  • 2/3 cup (30g) wheat cereal flakes
  • 1 small (35g) English muffin or scone
  • 1/2 cup (75-120g) cooked rice, pasta, noodles, barley, buckwheat, semolina, polenta, bulgur or quinoa

How much is a serve of vegetables

A standard serve is about 75g (100-350kJ) or:

  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
  • 1/2 medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro or cassava)
  • 1/2 cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
  • 1/2 cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)

How much is a serve of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans

A standard serve is (500-600kJ):

  • 170g tofu
  • 2 large (120g) eggs
  • 80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey (100g raw)
  • 100g cooked fish fillet (about 115g raw) or one small can of fish
  • 30g nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter or tahini or other nut or seed paste (no added salt)*
  • 65g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat or kangaroo (about 90-100g raw)
  • 1 cup (150g) cooked or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chick peas or split peas (preferably with no added salt)

*Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fiber varieties

*Only to be used occasionally as a substitute for other foods in the group (note: this amount for nuts and seeds gives approximately the same amount of energy as the other foods in this group but will provide less protein, iron or zinc).

How many servings of each per day should you eat
FoodsWomen, Children, ElderlyTeenage girlsTeenage boys
Calorie levelAprox. 1,600Aprox. 2,200Aprox. 2,800
MILK Group Products2 to 42 to 42 to 4
MEAT Group223
VEGETABLE Group345
FRUIT Group234
BREAD and Cereals6911
Total Fat in grams36 to 5349 to 7362 to 93

How many kilojoules are in a serve of each food group

Not all food groups provide the same number of kilojoules (kJ) per serve.

A serve of the grain (cereals) food group; milks/yogurt/cheese and /or alternatives group; lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and/or alternatives group; will provide about 500-600kJ.

About 2 serves of fruit, and from 2 serves (for starchy vegetables) to 5 serves (of green leafy vegetables) of different varieties in the vegetables group will provide about 500-600kJ. This is one reason that it makes good sense to fill up on leafy green and other lower kilojoule vegetables when you are trying to lose weight.

Also, while discretionary food serves can have similar kilojoules (about 600kJ) to a serve of the five food groups, they are usually much smaller and less filling, don't provide you with the fiber and nutrients you need and contain too much saturated fat, added sugars and added salt for good health.

The Food Guide Pyramid is a graphical representation allowing people to better understand how to eat healthy. A balanced diet is one that includes all the food groups of the food pyramid.

Note: New government nutrition guidelines no longer use the term "serving." Instead they use measurements such as ounces and cups.




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