portion sizes

Portion Control - Real Serving Sizes

Portion CONTROL. 

We hear a lot about this topic in the health arena – but do we translate the information out there into how much we eat every day? 

Despite the vast amount of knowledge available to us on portion sizes and types, many of us are not following these very simple instructions in our diets. By applying this one change to our family nutritional habits, we would see a quick and noticeable difference in our weight and health! 

Here is some valuable information to help you decipher how much food you should (or shouldn’t!) be eating every day.

According to the USDA, here is a general idea of portion sizes in each area of food groups:

Breads, pasta, cereal, cooked grains

  • 1 slice of bread (looks like a CD case)

  • 1/2 a bagel (the size of a hockey puck)

  • 1 cup cereal (looks like two hands cupped together)

  • 1/2 cup cooked grain or pasta (one cupped palm)


  • 1 piece of fresh fruit (the size of a tennis ball)

  • 1/2 cup cut up fruit, raw, cooked, frozen, or canned (looks like 7 cotton balls)

  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (1/2 cupped handful)

  • 3/4 cup 100% fruit juice (5 ounces or so)


  • 1/2 cup cut up veggie, raw, cooked, frozen, or canned (looks like the bulb part of a light bulb)

  • 1/2 cup cooked, canned or frozen legumes

  • 1 cup leafy greens (2 handfuls)

  • 3/4 cup 100% vegetable juice (5 ounces or so)

Meat, chicken, or fish

  • 3-4 ounces (looks like a deck of cards or a checkbook)

  • 1 egg


  • 1 oz of cheese (looks like 2, 9-volt batteries)

  • 1/2 cup ice cream, cottage cheese or pudding (one rounded scoop)

  • 1 cup milk or yogurt


  • 1/3 cup (a small handful)

  • 1 tbsp nut butter (size of both your thumbs)