From our kitchen to yours… serving sizes can be a bit of a hassle to remember, but there are easy ways to keep the right portions in mind! Don’t have a measuring spoon, don’t want to measure each serving as you put dinner on a plate? No problem! Use the general estimates here to get as close as possible to correct serving sizes.
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Lean Meats, Poultry & Tofu – 3 ounces – deck of cards
Another great comparison for lean meats, poultry and tofu is a bar of soap.
Fish – 3 ounces – size of your checkbook
Keep this serving size in mind, and try to stick as close to is as possible, no matter what type of fish you’re eating. This includes canned tuna and salmon. Two cans of fish may not seem like much, but one can (drained) is usually more than the 3 ounce serving size.
Cooked Pasta & Rice – about ½ cup – size of your fist
This can be difficult when eating out, as many restaurants serve full plates of rice, covered in sauces with meats and cheeses. When out to eat, asking for a to-go container before you start eating can help keep your portion sizes appropriate.
Grains – bread, pancake, waffle – 1 slice – size of a CD case
This means that only 1/2 a sandwich is a serving size of bread. Add a side of soup or salad to lunch to help maintain appropriate portions of each type of food.
Grains – cereal & popcorn – 1 baseball for cereal, 3 baseballs for popcorn
This means the smallest popcorn size at the movie theater is probably still more than the correct serving size.
Fruits, whole – 1 tennis ball
Most whole fruits fit this serving size easily. A banana, an apple (no core), a peach (no pit), and most other fruits have simple serving sizes… eat one piece. For smaller fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries or cherries, I simply estimate, using a tennis ball as my guide.
Salad Greens & Cooked Vegetables – 1 cup – 1 baseball
Easy as home, use a salad plate. When out and about, estimate and take the rest home with to eat later.
Fats & Oils – 1 tablespoon – 1 poker chip
Mayonnaise, some dressings, butter, the list for this one is long. Estimate when you can’t measure and mix things well to make dressings stretch across an entire salad or dish.
Cheese – 1½ ounces – 3 dice
When cutting up blocks of cheese, consider the dice. Figuring out melted cheese is much more difficult, unless you’ve cut up cubes ahead of time. Just estimate, nothing is perfect.
Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt – ½ cup – size of your fist (that includes whatever is hidden in the cone!)
Soft serve can be difficult to gauge when it comes to proper portions. Ordering a kiddie cone can help keep the serving size as close to the right size as possible.
Chocolate – 1 of 2 pieces – about the size of a dental floss pack
Considering this serving size, it’s important to remember that a pre-packaged candy bar is most likely more than an actually healthy serving size. Most of us will eat the entire candy bar anyway (I know I always do), but keep true serving sizes in mind when doing so.