Perfect portionsMeasuring out perfect portions is easy and makes a real difference to the amount you cook.

You can start by measuring them out using your kitchen scales, but you can also experiment and work out your ideal portion sizes using kitchen items like mugs and tablespoons.

The recommendations below are for adults – use them to find out your perfect portion sizes.

Fruit and vegetables
Starchy foods
Milk and dairy
Other foods

If you're cooking for children, you can prevent preparing too much by asking how much they wish to eat before you start cooking, or deliberately making extra so if there is spare it can be frozen for another day.

Fruit and vegetables

Ideally we should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The following are typical portions:

  • Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables
  • A cereal bowl-sized portion of lettuce
  • Three sticks of celery
  • A 5cm piece of cucumber
  • One medium tomato or seven cherry tomatoes
  • One piece of medium sized fruit, for example one apple, banana, orange or nectarine.
  • Two or more pieces of small fruit, such as two plums, two satsumas, two kiwi fruit, three apricots, seven strawberries, a handful of grapes or 14 cherries.

Find out more on the NHS website.

Starchy foods

We often use starchy foods to form the basis of a meal. A portion could be:

  • 75g – 100g for an adult of dried pasta (about a mug full). 50-60g for a child.
  • 75g dried rice (about one quarter of a mug) for an adult. 35g for a child (2.5 tablespoons).
  • One large potato for adults or three small potatoes for children.
  • A third of a soup bowl of cereal.

Milk and dairy

It's recommended that we consume three portions of dairy a day. A typical portion includes:

  • 30g cheese (roughly the size of a matchbox).
  • 200ml of milk (a small glass full).
  • A small pot of yoghurt (150g).

Other foods

Typical portions of other foods include:

  • Pies and quiches where a slice is no wider than your hand.
  • A serving spoon size of a chilled dessert.
  • Loaf cakes where the slice is the width of a postage stamp.
  • Round cakes where the slice is the width of your thumb.
  • A small bag of crisps.
  • One or two slices of pizza (no more than one third of a plate).