Size up Your Food Portions

pasta in a bowl Are you wondering if you’re eating too much or too little? Are you looking for an easy way to size up your portions? Then give yourself a hand! Use your hand to estimate different amounts of food and manage your portions wherever you are. Bonus! Watch the video to see this information in action.

How do I size up my food portions?

First, check out how many Food Guide servings you need every day. Then use the table below to help you size up your portions of different foods.

Handy Measure

Good for measuring

Fist = 1 cup

Fresh leafy greens
Yogurt, cooked legumes (e.g. peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas), tofu
Drinks like milk and soy beverage

Half fist = ½ cup

Pasta, rice, quinoa, oatmeal, barley
Fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables
Canned evaporated milk 100% juice

Cupped hand = ¼ cup

Dried fruit (e.g. raisins, dates, figs, apricots) Seeds (e.g. flax and hemp)

Palm = 2 ½ oz

Protein-rich foods like chicken, beef, fish, pork and turkey (the thickness of your pinky finger)

Flat hand

1 slice of bread ½ a bagel, pita or tortilla

Thumb = 1 Tbsp Thumb tip = 1 tsp

Oil and spreads like margarine, butter, peanut butter, mayonnaise and sauces
Cheese (2 thumbs)

What about snack foods?

You can also use your hand to estimate snack foods. For example, use your fist to estimate 1 cup of chips, popcorn, ice cream or French fries.

Hands come in all shapes and sizes

If you wish, measure out different foods using measuring cups and spoons. Then compare the amount to your hands and thumbs. That way, you can do an even better job of estimating portions with your hands.  

Last Update – December 11, 2018

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