Serving Sizes



Although Canada's Food Guide for Healthy Eating provides many examples of serving sizes for the four food groups, many people still have difficulty visualizing how big a serving really is.  Food replicas (which can be borrowed from your local District Health Unit) are a great way for people to visualize a serving.  If this option is not available, try the following examples:



     A large plate of pasta counts as 3 - 4 servings of Grain Products.


     A single bagel, pita bread, or bun is two servings of Grain Products.


     One serving of Vegetables and Fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.


     A juice box (250 mL) counts as two servings of Vegetables and Fruit.


     An adult thumb is about the same size as 50 grams of cheese, which is one serving of Milk Products.


     One serving of meat, fish, or poultry (100 g or 3 oz.) is approximately equal to the size of a deck of cards or the palm of an adult's hand.


     One handful of nuts is one serving of Meats and Alternatives.


There is a range in number of servings and even in the size of servings (Meat and Alternatives group) because the food guide is for a variety of people.  The amount of food from each food group depends on the age, activity level, body size, and sex of the individual.






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