So What Is A Portion Size of Produce?

Apples and peanut butter

You know an apple is a serving size of fruit. But how many pineapple chunks or string beans do you need to eat for a serving size? And how many servings do you need in a day?

Let this chart from FruitAndVeggiesMatter.gov be your starting guide. It breaks down how much produce you need based on age and activity level.

When you find your number, it may seem like a lot. But if you look at what actually makes up a serving (five to nine will usually hit the mark) and how easy it is to sneak in a cup here and a half a cup there, you’ll see it’s doable.

So what’s a serving?

  • 1/2 cup of cut fruit
  • 1 medium piece of fruit
  • 1/4 cup of dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of 100% fruit or vegetable juice
  • 1 cup of leafy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of chopped vegetables, cooked or raw

Trying to visualize the serving sizes?

  • 1 medium apple or orange = the size of a tennis ball
  • 1 cup vegetables or fruit = the size of a baseball
  • 1 medium potato = the size of a computer mouse
  • 1 cup of lettuce = about 4 leaves

Do you struggle with determining portion sizes? Post a comment and let me know.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.