What is a "Serving Size"...Really?

Written by jen meklenburg on 5/17/2010 12:13 PM | COMMENTS (15)

Okay, so, when I put "strawberries" into my tracker, the default serving size that comes up is 1.5 cups. When I do "blueberries", it's 1 cup. So I wondered if that is really a true serving size or just the default amount that WW puts in.

Not to mention, that I have been trying to focus on the Healthy Checks, and that tracks servings. So if I have 1 cup of blueberries, do I count it as 1 or 2 in my HC counter?

So I did some research on what exactly a serving size it. Wow, a serving size is a lot less than what I was expecting!

A serving size of a fruit or a vegetable is 1/2 cup! That's it! Just 1/2 cup! Greens, like spinich or lettuce is 1 full cup. Now, the government has a funny way of complicating things. While a serving size of fruit is 1/2 cup, they say that a single piece of fruit like an apple, banana or orange is also 1 serving - even though it may be more than 1/2 cup.

  • 1 banana
  • 6 strawberries
  • 2 plums
  • 15 grapes
  • 1 apple
  • 1 peach
  • 1 half cup of orange or other fruit juice (4 oz)


  • 5 broccoli florets
  • 10 baby carrots
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • half of a baked sweet potato
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 4 slices of an onion

Note that packaged fruits and vegetables may list their serving size that is larger than a real serving size. So if a bag of frozen veggies lists their serving size a 3/4 cup, remember that is really 1.5 serving sizes!

Even though WW has their standards, required servings can vary depending on our age and gender. As per the article that I read, here are the stats:

  • Older or inactive women and smaller children need at least 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit.
  • Growing kids, teen girls, most men and active women would eat at least 4 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit everyday.
  • Teen boys and active men should eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruit.

Having said this, doing WW, we probably should stick to WWs numbers.

So, now I know that if I really do have 1 cup of blueberries, it counts as TWO servings. Now armed with this information, I can easily hit my Healthy Check numbers.

Categories: FoodHealth

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  • Post Image bebeot1 (dianne)

    6/24/2012 9:19 AM
    I am returning to WW & using my iPad for tracking. I am confused! About the serving sizes! Only points related to portion are listed, & approximate sizes according to the hand chart (palm is a serving of meat, etc.). It appears I can eat all the bananas I want, that 1/2 c. Of regular ice cream has no points, for example. There is no listing of meat or protein amts. so how do I know if I am getting enough?

  • Post Image dory150 (kimberly)

    5/2/2012 11:44 AM
    Still helping after all these years!

  • Post Image trishchavez (patricia)

    4/6/2012 12:43 AM
    Thank you for taking the time to research this for us. Very helpful ☺

  • Post Image birdznbeadz

    3/4/2012 10:08 AM

  • Post Image bettydavidson (betty)

    2/12/2012 2:03 AM
    Thanks - this was very helpful!

  • Post Image lofg07

    11/20/2011 12:45 AM
    Thank you for posting this! Makes hitting my target veggie goals a little easier :)

  • Post Image margo smith

    10/25/2011 4:55 PM
    I've been in WW for a long time, and as I am up a few (15) pounds, I've been really looking for stuff. I have been searching the WW on-line sight for this acticle for a while now, I just found it now by googling. It must be kinda hidden in our WW pamphlets or I'm just blind. Thank you for getting this out there.

  • Post Image sarahssuccess (sarah)

    10/12/2011 10:55 AM
    Thanks for clearing up this mystery, when I have a big salad with greens and veggies, I'm probably having closer to three or four servings of veggies!

  • Post Image rjm1954 (rick)

    9/6/2010 12:49 PM
    Thank you for this! Your post solves my serving-size dilemma!

  • Post Image brittainy23 (brittainy)

    5/18/2010 3:35 PM
    I love this I am gonna write this down! I cant believe it I have been stuffing myself with veggies about 5 or 6 cups. And to imagine I was eating all I needed and then some! Great great great Post!

  • Post Image zoilus8 (kathy)

    5/18/2010 9:29 AM
    I love that you're just as crazy about this stuff as I am! Yep, I go by the WW serving sizes for my GHG checks (1/2 c of fruit, 1 small apple, etc.). Tryin' to keep it simple!

  • Post Image susanne*marie (susanne)

    5/17/2010 3:52 PM
    Thanks for posting this as I was just wondering about this too...just bought some fresh strawberries and blueberries this morning. Fruit is the hard part for me so I glad to know I get 2 servings in 1C of BB! Off to have some blueberries and strawberries and yogurt for snack.

  • Post Image infinger85 (christina)

    5/17/2010 3:51 PM
    Good info - thanks! Maybe I'm not shorting myself on f/v as much as I thought.

  • Post Image devjfl1 (jeff)

    5/17/2010 2:06 PM
    I know what my serving side used to be...whatever I could eat before getting sick. Seriously - I completely understand how you are perplexed (I am too). Thus, I am not "religious" about my WW tracking although I do track everything. I am more concerned with becoming so thoroughly retrained so that ultimately I can take "off the WW training wheels" and manage what I eat by myself.

  • Post Image meluvc00kie

    5/17/2010 12:24 PM
    Once I started using the Healthy Checks I came to realize that I totally surpass my servings of fruits & veggies every day. I always go over. At least I go over eating fresh fruits & veggies! The produce section at my grocery store is one of my favorite places now. Totally love eating the fresh stuff now. Thanks for all the info - your blog is always helpful! Happy Monday! :)


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