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Portion Sizes for Children

Kids should get kid-sized portions! Serve your child about ¼-½ of the portion you would consume.  If that doesn’t seem like a lot, remember that children eat smaller amounts but eat more frequently. Snacks are important!  Use our guide below to help you visualize what a true child size portion is and how much they need in a day (servings per day reflect children ages 3-6).  Also, remember to look at your child’s intake over the course of a week, not one day.

Food Group Portion Size (size equivalent) Some Ideas
Carbs: Grains, Pasta, Bread
(3-5/day)
½ oz. = ½ Cup (about the size of a light bulb) ½ slice of bread
½ Cup of cereal flakes 1 Cup of cooked oatmeal (1/2 Cup dry)
½ Cup of cooked rice, pasta, or potato
Vegetables
(3-5/day)
4 oz. = ½ Cup chopped = ¼- ½  Cup pureed ½ cup of greens
5 1” broccoli florets
7 baby carrots
¼- ½ Cup tomato soup
Fruits
(2-4/day)
1 small piece of whole fruit½ Cup fresh fruit2 Tablespoons dried fruit (a child’s fistful) ½ medium apple
1 small or ½ medium  banana
4-5 orange sections
2 Tbsp. raisins
Protein: Meats, Poultry, Eggs, Beans, Nuts(2-3/day) 2 oz. meat, fish, or poultry (4 large dominoes)2-4 oz. = ¼ Cup beans2 Tbsp. nuts 2 small chicken fingers
1 egg
½ small can of tuna fish
1/3  Cup cooked peas
2 Tbsp. almond butter
Dairy: Milk, yogurt, Cheese(2/day)  1 oz. cheese (size of your thumb)½- ¾ Cup milk or yogurt 1 piece part-skim string cheese
1 small cube regular cheddar cheese
½- ¾ Cup milk
1 single-serving yogurt
Fats: Oils & Butter(3 tsp/day) 1 teaspoon oil or butter (the tip of your thumb) 1 tsp. olive oil drizzled on bread or over pasta1 tsp. butter on toast