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Safe Food Preparation

Author(s): Roberta Anding, MS, RD/LD, CDE
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What Is a Serving Size?

Food labels and other guides often use “serving size” to describe a recommended single portion of a food. Serving sizes are different for various kinds of foods (meats, fruits and vegetables, etc.), liquid and solid foods, and cooked versus raw foods. In many case, the amount specified as a serving size for a particular food is smaller than the amount typically eaten.

To help students learn to estimate appropriate serving sizes, challenge groups of students to predict appropriate servings sizes of a vegetable, snack food, cereal and liquid, and to record their predictions. Next, have students actually measure out the quantities that they predicted. You may need to explain that food portions in the US typically are measured in “cups.” Show students examples of measuring cups for liquid and solid foods.

As an extension to this activity, have students investigate the metric equivalents of cups for liquids (liters) and solids (grams).


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932