13 Dec 2016

Portion Serving Sizes: How Much Is Enough?

Nutrition Advice

When it comes to having the right amount of food in your diet, portion distortion is all too common.

Combined with restaurants offering larger plates, up-sized specials and king sized portions, it can be hard to get back to basics and realise what real serving sizes look like.

So, how are you stacking up when it comes to feeding yourself the right amount of food?


A standard serve is around 75g (100-350kJ). This is the equivalent of:

- ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables
- ½ cup cooked beans, peas or lentils
- 1 cup leafy greens
- ½ medium potato/sweet potato
- ½ cup sweet corn

If you’re looking to lose weight, make vegetables take up at least one third of the space on your (appropriately sized) plate. Make sure you’re pairing as many meals as you can with a rainbow of vegetables because basically, the more you have on your plate, the less room there is for other food.

If you’re opting for a serving of canned vegetables, be sure you’re choosing those with no added salt and sugars.


A standard serve is around 150g (350kJ). This is the equivalent of:

- 1 medium sized apple, orange or banana
- ½ cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit
- ½ cup fruit juice (occasionally)
- 30g dried fruit

If you’re struggling to adhere to your recommended serve of fruit (which should be at least twice a day), make it a snack or a dessert – or both. Easy.


A standard serve is around 500kJ. This is the equivalent of:

- 1 slice bread
- ½ cup cooked porridge, rice, pasta, noodles, quinoa or barley
- 3 crispbreads
- 1 small English muffin

It goes without saying – if you’re going to chow down on grains, make it of the wholegrain or high cereal fibre variety. 

Lean Meat/Poultry/Fish/Nuts and Seeds/Legumes

A standard serve is around 500-600kJ. This is the equivalent of:

- 65g cooked lean red meats (beef, lamb, pork, kangaroo or goat)
- 80g cooked lean poultry (chicken or turkey)
- 1 small can fish
- 2 large eggs
- 170g tofu
- 30g nuts, seeds or nut/seed paste

Make lean meat (or its many alternatives) part of at least one meal a day.

Nuts, seeds or seed/nut pastes should only occasionally be used as a substitute for other foods in this group. Although the suggested servings of these will give approximately the same amount of energy, you’ll be missing out on essential protein, iron and zinc.

Additionally, if you’re one for fish, put it on your plate at least once a week to get your hit of brain food.

Milk/Yoghurt/Cheese/Dairy Alternatives

A standard serve is around 500-600k. This is the equivalent of:

- 1 cup milk
- 2 slices (40g) hard cheese
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup yoghurt

Foods offering the same amount of calcium as milk, yoghurt or cheese:

- 100g almonds with skin
- 100g firm tofu (be sure to double check the label)
- 60g sardines, canned in water

Dairy overindulgence is all too common - in fact, your weekend wine and cheese night has probably provided your weeks’ worth of dairy in one sitting. Hard cheese the size of 3 dominos is all your serving size will allow you for the day, so make sure you’re not going overboard.

If you’re avoiding dairy altogether, the kilojoule content of dairy alternatives can often be higher than their dairy counterparts, so be wary of dairy-free substitutes if you’re trying to lose weight.

Feed your body with the right facts and see where the world of food and nutrition can take you with our nationally accredited 10967NAT Diploma of Nutrition. Call 1300 616 180 today.

Get in touch with AIPT today.

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