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Get portion wise!

What are food portions?

A food portion is the amount of food you eat in one serving. This can refer to an entire meal or one food type, such as a portion of vegetables. 


For healthy adults, the types of different foods we need are similar for all of us but, the amount of food we need varies from person to person.

Getting portion size right for you

The portion sizes given below are suggestions of practical portion sizes for healthy adults for a range of foods and drinks. These can be used to complement the government's Eatwell Guide, which provides guidance on the proportions of the food groups that make up a healthy, balanced diet.

How do I measure portion sizes?

If you want to measure portion size accurately the best way is to weigh your food but that isn't always an easy option. Instead, we have provided some practical measures using your hands and spoons as a simple way to estimate  sensible portion sizes. 


The portion sizes we have given below are based on a daily calorie need of 2000kcal – the amount estimated for an average, healthy adult woman. If you’re tall or very active you may need more. If you’re a small person or are trying to lose weight, you may need smaller portions. 


If you use the hand measures we have given below, portion sizes will vary with the size of your hands and so, generally, bigger people will get bigger portions and smaller people will get smaller portions.

What is a portion?

Practical examples of portion sizes

Dried pasta shapes or rice About two handfuls (75g)

Spaghetti A bunch the size of a £1 coin (75g)

A baked potato About the size of your fist (220g)

Breakfast cereal About three handfuls (40g)

Chicken breast About size of your whole hand (120g)

Cheddar cheese A piece about the size of two thumbs together (30g)

Peanut butter About one tablespoon (20g)

Soft cheese About three teaspoons (30g)

Suggested daily portions from each food group:

  • Fruit and vegetables: 5+ portions per day
  • Starchy carbohydrates: 3-4 portions per day
  • Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins: 2-3 portions per day
  • Dairy and alternatives: 2-3 portions per day

Download our portion guides:

We hope these guides help you find your balance!

A healthy, balanced diet is about getting the right types of foods and drinks in the right amounts. These guides aim to help you find the right balance for you – it’s not only about how much you eat, it’s also about the types of foods you eat.  

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Please note that advice provided on our website about nutrition and health is general in nature. We do not provide any individualised advice on prevention, treatment and management for patients or their family members.