Basix Wellness

An interactive website to help with diet, nutrition, fitness, and wellness support.

An interactive website to help with diet, nutrition, fitness, and wellness support.

An interactive website to help with diet, nutrition, fitness, and wellness support.

What's a Serving?

The 24 Hour Chart and Assess Your Day sections of the Manage Your Energy part of our website analyze food in the context of the MyPyramid system. The MyPyramid system was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help people live longer, better and healthier lives. There are six broad types of food in the MyPyramid system shown in the chart below.

When choosing foods, keep the following in mind:

  • All food groups are important. Each food group provides specific nutrients that can not easily be met from other food groups. No single food group can provide all nutrients.
  • The amount of food we need from each food group varies based on age, gender, physical activity, and weight goals. The information gathered in the enrollment process (under My Account and Registration Info) combined with the food choices in a given day (entered using the Meal Builder page) shows how your choices meet the MyPyramid guidelines.
  • The serving sizes recommended by the MyPyramid guidelines can be different than the serving size information on a food label. MyPyramid serving sizes are based on nutrient content. For example, in the MyPyramid system, 1 cup of low fat milk has a similar nutrient profile in calcium, protein, and riboflavin as 1.5 oz of cheese.
  • The MyPyramid serving sizes are often different than our personal portion sizes which is the amount of a particular food you typically eat. Recognizing how many servings are in your typical portion is critical in learning "real time" energy management.

Below are examples of what the MyPyramid guidelines define as one serving unit for each of the food groups.

Food Group Serving Size Serving Size in Context Visual Clues and Examples of One Serving
Grains 1 Ounce 1 slice of bread
1 cup cold cereal
½ cup cooked rice, pasta or cooked cereal
Bread = plastic CD case
Cooked rice = ½ of a tennis ball

1 mini-bagel
5 whole-wheat crackers
½ English muffin
1 (4 ½ inch) pancake
1 small tortilla (6 inches)
Fruit Group 1 Cup Equivalent 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice;
½ cup of dried fruit
Whole fruit = 1 baseball
Cut fruit = 7 cotton balls
1 small apple
32 seedless grapes
3 medium plums
Vegetable Group 1 Cup Equivalent 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice;
2 cups of raw leafy greens
Vegetables = a light bulb or computer mouse
2 medium carrots
1 large ear corn
1 medium baked potato
3 (5 inch long) spears of broccoli
Meat and Beans Group 1 Ounce 1 egg
1 tablespoon peanut butter
¼ cup cooked dry beans
½ ounce nuts or seeds
Nuts = 12 almonds, 24 pistachios
Turkey = one sandwich slice
Peanut butter = ½ golf ball
Burger patty = ½ patty
Tuna = ¼ can of drained tuna
Fish = One third of a checkbook
Meat or Poultry = One third of a deck of cards
Milk Group 1 cup Equivalent 1 cup milk
1 ½ ounce natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese
Hard cheese = two 9-volt batteries
Shredded cheese = tennis ball
Oils 1 Teaspoon 1 Teaspoon oil, salad dressing, butter, etc. Butter and spreads = A stack of 6 nickels

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