What is a Food Guide Serving?
A Food Guide Serving is simply a reference amount. It helps you understand how much food is recommended every day from each of the four food groups.
Canada’s Food Guide provides examples of the amount of food that makes up one Food Guide Serving:
Vegetables and Fruit
- 125 mL (½ cup) fresh, frozen or canned vegetable or fruit or 100% juice
- 250 mL (1 cup) leafy raw vegetables or salad
- 1 piece of fruit
- 1 slice (35 g) bread or ½ bagel (45 g)
- ½ pita (35 g) or ½ tortilla (35 g)
- 125 mL (½ cup) cooked rice, pasta, or couscous
- 30 g cold cereal or 175 mL (¾ cup) hot cereal
Milk and Alternatives
- 250 mL (1 cup) milk or fortified soy beverage
- 175 g (¾ cup) yogurt
- 50 g (1 ½ oz.) cheese
Meat and Alternatives
- 75 g (2 ½ oz.)/125 mL (½ cup) cooked fish, shellfish, poultry or lean meat
- 175 mL (¾ cup) cooked beans
- 2 eggs
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) peanut butter
Make each Food Guide Serving Count...wherever you are - at home, at school, at work or when eating out!
Counting Food Guide Servings
The amount of food that a person eats in a meal or snack may be more or less than one Food Guide Serving. For example, two slices of bread in a sandwich count as two Food Guide Servings of Grain Products. Or, 125 mL (1/2 cup) of milk in a bowl of cereal counts as half of a Food Guide Serving of Milk and Alternatives.
When eating a meal made of single items such as vegetables, rice and chicken, it can be straight forward to compare what is on your plate to Food Guide Servings. However, many meals are made of a mix of different foods such as casseroles, stir-fries and stews which can make counting servings more complicated.
Look at the example below to learn more about counting Food Guide Servings in a meal and mixed dishes.
|Here is an example:|
|Vegetable and beef stir-fry with rice, a glass of milk and an apple for dessert.|
|250 mL (1 cup) mixed broccoli, carrot and sweet red pepper||=||2 Vegetables and Fruit Food Guide Servings|
|75 g (2 1⁄2 oz.) lean beef||=||1 Meat and Alternatives Food Guide Serving|
|250 mL (1 cup) brown rice||=||2 Grain Products Food Guide Servings|
|5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil||=||part of your Oils and Fats intake for the day|
|250 mL (1 cup) 1% milk||=||1 Milk and Alternatives Food Guide Serving|
|1 apple||=||1 Vegetables and Fruit Food Guide Serving|