Vegetable & Fruit Chart


Aim for 2-4 servings per person/meal

1 serving of vegetables =

  • 1/2 cup raw or cooked vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, onions…)
  • 1/2 cup broccoli = 5 florets
  • 1/2 large bell pepper
  • 1 large celery stalk
  • 1 medium carrot or 6 baby carrots
  • 1 cup raw leafy greens (Swiss chard, rainbow chard, bok choy, collard greens, spinach, kale, mustard greens, beet greens, romaine lettuce, cabbage)
  • 1 small sweet potato or yam
  • 1/2 cup vegetable juice

2 servings of vegetables =

  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 2 large stalks celery
  • 1 cup cooked greens (2 cups uncooked greens)
  • 2 medium carrots or 12 baby carrots
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam
  • 1 large leaf chard and stalk (Swiss, red, rainbow)

How many servings are in…?*

  • Carrots (1lb) = 6-8 medium or 4 large = 6-8 servings
  • Mushrooms (1/2 lb or 8oz) = 12-15 medium = 3 cups sliced = 6 servings
  • Chard (1 large or 2 small bunch(es) chopped) = 8- 10 cups = 8-10 servings
  • Kale (1 large bunch, de-stemmed, torn or chopped coarsely) = approx 8 cups = 8 servings
  • Sweet Potato or Yam (1lb) = 1 large; 1 1/3 medium; 2 small = 2 servings

*Until you start to get used to visually gauging how many servings are in a bunch of kale or a bag of carrots (for example), you might have to keep your measuring cup close at hand.


Aim for 2-3 servings/day

1 serving of fruit =

  • 1/2 cup raw fruit (strawberries, blue- berries, raspberries…)
  • 4 large strawberries
  • 1 small banana, orange
  • 1/2 large banana, orange, grapefruit
  • 16 grapes
  • 1 large plum

2 servings of fruit =

  • 1 small apple
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 medium grapefruit
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 medium pear
  • 3 medium plums or 2 large
  • 8 large strawberries


  • 1 baseball = 1 cup
  • 1 small computer mouse = 1/2 cup

‘Serving Sizes’ - Clearing Up the Confusion

Q: Who decided what a serving size is and should be?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) originally set a ‘serving size’ based on the portion sizes that people typically eat, ease of use and nutritional content of fruits and vegetables. In 2005, the USDA began listing vegetable and fruit recommendations as cups rather than as servings.

Q: What is the difference between a serving and a portion?

A “serving” is a measured amount used to describe the amount of food recommended from various food groups. Whereas a “portion” is the amount of a specific food you choose to eat. Portions can be bigger or smaller than the recommended food servings.

Q: Is a serving size always the same?

You will find that serving sizes on ‘Nutrition Facts Labels’ of packaged foods are not always the same size as the serving size determined by the USDA.

Q: How do I know how many “servings” of vegetables and fruit are right for me?

You want to find your right balance. For instance, if you are 5’ tall, and slight of frame you will likely have a need for fewer total servings of food than someone that might be 6’ 3” and strong as an ox. There are plenty of professional recommendations out there as to what you ‘should’ eat. Consider that this is not about finding the right rules, but rather choosing foundational principles to live by for your own optimal health.

Q: Why do you recommend so many servings of vegetables (and fruits)?

In the world of nutritional science, scientists might disagree about what in particular is so good about vegetables and fruit and which ones are the best to consume, but there seems to be a general consensus that vegetables and fruits (organic preferably) are good for you. Begin where you are, and understand that our recommendations are based on the fact that vegetables (and fruits) are delicious nutritional powerhouses.



USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Serving Sizes in the Food Guide Pyramid and on the Nutrition Facts Label: What’s the Difference and Why?, March 1999

<> (visited 20, January, 2010) Pollan, Michael. Food Rules, Penguin Books, New York 2009