County Public
Health Contacts
Find Us on Facebook

Follow IDPH on Twitter

Iowan's Fit for Life

Home  |  Webinars  |  Resources

Proper Serving Sizes

Our environment can make it difficult to identify a proper serving size. Portions have steadily increased over the years and may be contributing to the increase in overweight and obese individuals in the state of Iowa. Practicing portion control and eating proper serving sizes in each food group is important in maintaining a healthy weight and balanced diet.

What is a Serving?

Grain Servings

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread
  • 1 cup of dry cereal
  • cup of cook whole grain cereal or oatmeal
  • cup cooked rice (brown is best)
  • cup pasta (whole wheat is best)

Fruit and Vegetable Servings

  • 1/2 cup chopped fruits or vegetables
  • 1 medium piece of fruit (the size of a tennis ball)
  • cup dried fruit
  • cup vegetable juice
  • cup 100% fruit juice
  • 1 cup leafy green vegetables

Lean Meats (including fish and poultry)

  • 6 ounces per day- (the size of 2 decks of cards)
  • 1 cup Beans and rice and or soy products such as tofu


  • 1 cup 1% or non-fat milk
  • 1 cup low-fat or non-fat yogurt

How Many Serving Should I be Eating?

The United States Department of Agriculture has developed a website for you and your family to assist you in reaching your nutrition goals. Visit to find individualized calorie and nutrition information specific to you and your family, personalized meal plans, planning healthy menus and a variety of multimedia education.