• Pinterest
  • Save
  • Facebook
  • Email
  • Print

Healthy Portion Sizes for Kids

tealightful fruit bowl
Use our guide to decide how much food is enough—or too much. MORE+ LESS-

How much food is too much? 

It’s not always easy to know exactly how much your kids should be eating. Healthy portion sizes for a food group depend on all sorts of things: your kids' age, boy versus girl, and the amount of physical activity they get. But keeping your kids’ portions under control is simple with My Pyramid for Kids and this convenient table: 

What's the Right Number of Servings? 

Group Girls & Boys 4-8 years Girls 9-13 years Boys 9-13 years 

Grains 4 ounce equivalents* 5 ounce equivalents* 6 ounce equivalents* 

Vegetables 1 ½ cups 2 cups 2 ½ cups 

Fruits 1-1 ½ cups 1 ½ cups 1 ½ cups 

Milk 2 cups 3 cups 3 cups 

Meat & Beans 3-4 ounce equivalents** 5 ounce equivalents** 5 ounce equivalents** * 

A 1-ounce equivalent of grains: 1 slice of bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, ½ cup cooked rice, ½ cup cooked pasta, ½ cup cooked oatmeal, 1 small tortilla, 5 whole grain crackers or 3 cups popped popcorn. **A 1-ounce equivalent of meats and beans: 1 ounce meat, poultry or fish, ¼ cup cooked dry beans, ¼ cup tofu, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 2 tablespoons hummus or ½ ounce nuts or seeds. 

What’s an Ounce Equivalent? 

To compare foods by calories and the nutrients they provide, MyPyramid for Kids uses ounce equivalents for both the grains group and the meats & beans group.In this way, a serving of foods within those food groups is similar to others from the same food group—but the right amount of the serving may be different from one ounce. Servings from the fruit and vegetable groups may vary, too, depending upon if they are cooked or raw.