Fruits and Veggies: What’s in a Serving?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a minimum of three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits every day. For optimum health, five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruit are more ideal. 

Sometimes people are a little overwhelmed with eating five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruit each day. But when they realize what makes up a serving, they seem a little more comfortable.

Here are some examples of one serving of vegetables:

  • Spinach, romaine and dark, leafy lettuce = 2 cups raw
  • Carrot = 1 medium, raw, or about 6 baby carrots
  • Tomato = 1 about 2 ¼-inch diameter, raw
  • Garbanzo, black or soy beans = 1 cup cooked, whole or mashed
  • Celery = 1 stalk about 12 inches long, raw
  • Cucumbers = 1 cup raw, sliced
  • Mushrooms = 1 cup raw or cooked
  • Zucchini = 1 cup cooked

Here are some examples of one fruit serving:

  • Banana = 1 less than 6 inches long
  • Cantaloupe = 1 medium wedge
  • Grapes = 16 seedless
  • Grapefruit = half of a 4-inch- diameter fruit
  • Peach = 1, 2-inch diameter
  • Strawberries = ½ cup, sliced
  • Raisins = ½ cup
  • 100 percent fruit juice = 1 cup

The USDA provides a few tips to help you eat more vegetables and fruits:

  • Buy fresh vegetables and fruit in season because they will likely have more flavor
  • Buy vegetables that are easy to prepare, and try baby carrots or celery sticks for quick snacks
  • Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter or refrigerator
  • Refrigerate cut-up fruit to eat later as a snack

There are creative ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your everyday diet. This includes topping oatmeal or cereal with fruit and putting extra vegetables in egg dishes or salads.