Serving Size

Get the scoop on serving sizes.

When it comes to serving and portion sizes, it's not unusual for us to think we're eating a healthy and well-balanced meal, even when we're not. Most of us tend to underestimate both the amount of food we eat and the size of our portions. This means we actually end up having more than the recommended amount. So whether you're living with diabetes, or just looking to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet, this chart should help keep you on track.

What's a serving*?

  • 1 cup (250 ml) of leafy raw vegetables or salad
  • 1/2 (125 ml) cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetable or fruit
  • 3/4 (188 ml) cup of cooked legumes
  • 1 slice of bread (35 g/1.24 oz)
  • 30 g (1.06 g) of cold cereal
  • 3/4 (180 ml) cup of hot cereal
  • 1/2 (125 ml) cup of cooked rice or pasta
  • 1 cup (250 ml) of milk or fortified soy beverage
  • 70 g (2.5 oz) of lean meat, chicken or fish (cooked)

How big is one serving? 
Here are some easy tricks to help you get the right serving size every time:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) of canned fruit, cooked vegetables or potatoes = the size of half a tennis ball
  • 85 g (3 oz) of meat, fish, or chicken = the size of your palm
  • 28 g (1 oz) of cheese = the size of your thumb
  • 1 cup of (250 ml) milk, yogurt or fresh greens = the size of your fist
  • 1 teaspoon of oil = the size of the tip of thumb

Source: Health Canada 2007: Canada's Food Guide 
*For the recommended number of servings per day please consult Canada's Food Guide

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