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Maureen on What's a serve? :
Thank you Judy I have always thought 1/2 cup for all ve... »

What's a serve?

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Australian adults are supposed to eat five serves of vegetable and 2 fruit a day for good health. You knew that right?

But do you know what a serve of vegetables actually looks like? There's a good chance that you don't because as you know vegetables come in all shapes and sizes and the standard 75 g serve is pretty difficult to gauge without a set of scales at hand.

The national average for fruit and veg consumption is appalling with only 10 % of women and 4 % of men currently meeting the national dietary vegetable intake requirements. With fruit we're doing a little better: Currently 55% of women and 44 % men are eating the recommended 2 serves a day.

At this point it's worth noting that although 5 serves of vegetables is the recommended daily requirement many health experts suggest we eat more than five serves a day for optimal health which if we're honest, is pretty hard to do.

What is a serve?

A standard serve of fruit weighs 150 g and is the equivalent to (on average) a medium sized apple, orange, pear, and banana. For larger fruits such as pineapple and melon cut into chunks, consider ½ - ¾ up a healthy serve. Fruits such as kiwifruit, mandarins and plums are smaller and therefore 2 of each is considered to be a single serve.

The average serve of vegetables weighs 75 grams which is (roughly) the equivalent of 1 cup raw green leaves vegetables, such as lettuce, rocket, baby spinach and ½ cup of the more robust vegetables such as green and red cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Half a cup is a fairly standard serve for other non-starchy vegetables such as mushroom, capsicum, pumpkin, carrot and zucchini. The serving size for starchy or sweet vegetables is smaller. Half a medium sized potato, 1 corn cob and ½ small sweet potato should be considered as one serve.
As a quick and rough guide we have prepared the following table using more common measurements to make counting your daily vegetable consumption easier.

VegetableCommon Serve
Spinach, lettuce, rocket, Asian greens 1 cup
Shredded cabbage 1/2 cup
Brussels sprouts 4 sprouts
Broccoli 7 florets
Green beans15 beans
Peas1/2 cup
Mushrooms 3 medium
Cauliflower 6 florets
Capsicum 4 rings
Zucchini3/4 medium
Onion 2 medium
Eggplant 1/4 medium
Potato1/2 medium
Sweet potato 1/2 medium sweet potato
Sweetcorn 1 small cob
Tomato 1 small fruit

Now you know what constitutes a serve - can you eat 5 a day?


Jul 21 2017 7:46PM
Thank you Judy I have always thought 1/2 cup for all vegetable was one serve. You are never too old to learn.
Comment by: Maureen

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