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How to Judge Serving Sizes

Some foods are weighed in ounces. Some are measured in spoons or cups. Others, like fruits, are based on an average, or medium, size. Below are some serving sizes and tips to help you judge just what 1 serving looks like.

Ounces

  • A serving of meat, poultry, or fish is 2 to 3 ounces.

  • A serving of natural cheese is 1½ ounces. A serving of processed cheese is 2 ounces.

A medium-sized piece

  • A serving of fresh, whole fruit is 1 medium-sized piece.

  • A serving of melon is one 2-inch slice or 1 cup diced or melon balls.

Tablespoons and teaspoons

  • A serving of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons.

  • A serving of salad dressing is 1 tablespoon.

  • A serving of fat, oil, or sugar is 1 teaspoon.

Cups

  • A serving of these foods is ½ cup: cooked cereal, rice, dried beans, or pasta; cooked or chopped raw vegetables; chopped, cooked, or canned fruit.

  • A serving of vegetable or fruit juice is ¾ cup.

  • A serving of these foods is 1 cup: raw, leafy vegetables, berries, milk, or yogurt.

  • A serving of ready-to-eat cereal is ½ cup, ¾ cup, or 1 cup. The Nutrition Facts label tells you just how much 1 serving is.

Online Medical Reviewer: Horowitz, Diane, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Wilkins, Joanna, RD, CD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2017
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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