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Serving size savvy

Most of us are aware of Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide and its recommendations to eat a certain number of servings from each food group each day. But what makes up a serving?

Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide advises Canadians to consume a certain number of servings per food group each day. This number is presented as a range, with considerations for your body size, your level of activity, your age, your gender, and physical factors such as being pregnant or breast-feeding.

For grain products, the recommended daily range is:

  • 3 to 6 servings for children (between the ages of 2 and 13)
  • 6 to 7 servings for teens (between the ages of 14 and 18)
  • 6 to 8 servings for adults (ages 19 and above)

For example, one slice of bread is a serving, as is ½ cup of brown rice. To help yourself visualize these serving sizes, remember that 1 cup equals 250 mL, which happens to be the standard size of a drink box.

For fruits and vegetables, the recommended daily range is:

  • 4 to 6 servings for children
  • 7 to 8 servings for teens
  • 7 to 10 servings for adults

For example, each medium-sized fruit or vegetable is one serving, as is ½ cup of juice or ½ cup of canned/frozen/fresh fruit or vegetables.

For milk products, the recommended daily range is:

  • 2 to 4 servings for children
  • 3 to 4 servings for teens
  • 2 to 3 servings for adults

For example, one milk serving is 1 cup of 1% milk, or 2 slices (or 50 g) of cheese, or ¾ cup of yogurt.

For meat and alternatives, the recommended daily range is:

  • 1 to 2 servings for children
  • 2 to 3 servings for teens
  • 2 to 3 servings for adults

For example, one serving is 75 g of lean meat, fish, or poultry (about the size of a standard computer mouse), or ¾ cup of tofu, or ¾ cup (175 mL) of cooked legumes (e.g., beans).

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding require more calories than the average adult. They should add an extra 2 to 3 Food Guide Servings per day. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should take a multivitamin with folic acid daily, and pregnant women should make sure that their multivitamin also includes iron. You can consult with your health care professional about which multivitamin is right for you.

For more details on Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Nutrition-Edition

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