Recommended Number of Food Guide Servings per Day
Table – Recommended Number of Food Guide Servings per Day
Children Teens Adults
Age in Years




14-18 years

19-50 years

51 + years


Girls and Boys







Vegetables and Fruit










Grain Products










Milk and Alternatives










Meat and Alternatives










The chart above shows how many Food Guide Servings you need from each of the four food groups every day.

Having the amount and type of food recommended and following the tips in Canada’s Food Guide will help:

Meet your needs for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Reduce your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis.

Contribute to your overall health and vitality.

What is one Food Guide Serving?

Look at the examples below.

Vegetables and Fruit

Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
125 mL (½ cup)

Leafy vegetables
250 mL (1 cup)

Fresh, frozen or canned fruits
1 fruit or 125 mL (½ cup)

100% Juice
125 mL (½ cup)

Grain Products

1 slice (35 g)

½ bagel (45 g)

Flat breads
½ pita or ½ tortilla (35 g)

Cooked rice, bulgur or quinoa
125 mL (½ cup)

Cold: 30 g
Hot: 175 mL (¾ cup)

Cooked pasta or couscous 125 mL (½ cup)

Milk and Alternatives

Milk or powered milk (reconstituted)
250 mL (1 cup)

Canned milk (evaporated)
125 mL (½ cup)

Fortified soy beverage
250 mL (1 cup)

175 g (¾ cup)

50 g (1 ½ oz.)

Meat and Alternatives

Cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat
75 g (2 ½ oz.)/125 mL (½ cup)

Cooked legumes
175 mL (3/4 cup)

150 g or 175 mL (¾ cup)

2 eggs

Peanut or nut butters
30 mL (2 Tbsp)

Shelled nuts and seeds
60 mL (¼ cup)

Oils and Fats

Include a small amount – 30 to 45 mL (2 to 3 Tbsp) – of unsaturated fat each day. This includes oil used for cooking, salad dressings, margarine and mayonnaise.

Use vegetable oils such as canola, olive and soybean.

Choose soft margarines that are low in saturated and trans fats.

Limit butter, hard margarine, lard and shortening.

Make each Food Guide Serving count.

wherever you are – at home, at school, at work or when eating out!

Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.

Go for dark green vegetables such as broccoli, romaine lettuce and spinach.

Go for orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash.

Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.

Enjoy vegetables steamed, baked or stir-fried instead of deep-fried.

Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice.

Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day.

Eat a variety of whole grains such as barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa and wild rice.

Enjoy whole grain breads, oatmeal or whole wheat pasta.

Choose grain products that are lower in fat, sugar or salt.

Compare the Nutrition Facts table on labels to make wise choices.

Enjoy the true taste of grain products. When adding sauces or spreads, use small amounts.

Drink skim, 1%, or 2% milk each day.

Have 500 mL (2 cups) of milk every day for adequate vitamin D.

Drink fortified soy beverages if you do not drink milk.

Select lower fat milk alternatives.

Compare the Nutrition Facts table on yogurts or cheeses to make wise choices.

Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often.

Eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week. *

Choose fish such as char, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout.

Select lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt.

Trim the visible fat from meats. Remove the skin on poultry.

Use cooking methods such as roasting, baking or poaching that require little or no added fat.

If you eat luncheon meats, sausages or packaged meats, choose those lower in salt (sodium) and fat.

* Health Canada provides advice for limiting exposure to mercury from certain types of fish. Refer to for the latest information.

Enjoy a variety of foods from the four food groups.

Satisfy your thirst with water!

Drink water regularly. It’s a calorie-free way to quench your thirst. Drink more water in hot weather or when you are very active.

Men and women over 50

The need for vitamin D increases after the age of 50.

In addition to following Canada’s Food Guide, everyone over the age of 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 µg (400 IU).

How do I count Food Guide Servings in a meal?

Here is an example:

Vegetable and beef stir-fry with rice, a glass of milk and an apple for dessert

250 mL (1 cup) mixed broccoli, carrot and sweet red pepper = 2 Vegetables and Fruit Food Guide Servings

75 g (2 ½ oz.) lean beef = 1 Meat and Alternatives Food Guide Serving

250 mL (1 cup) brown rice = 2 Grain Products Food Guide Servings

5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil = part of your Oils and Fats intake for the day

250 mL (1 cup) 1% milk = 1 Milk and Alternatives Food Guide Serving

1 apple = 1 Vegetables and Fruit Food Guide Serving

Eat well and be active today and every day!

The benefits of eating well and being active include:

Better overall health.

Lower risk of disease.

A healthy body weight.

Feeling and looking better.

More energy.

Stronger muscles and bones.

Eat well

Another important step towards better health and a healthy body weight is to follow Canada’s Food Guide by:

Eating the recommended amount and type of food each day.

Limiting foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium) such as cakes and pastries, chocolate and candies, cookies and granola bars, doughnuts and muffins, ice cream and frozen desserts, french fries, potato chips, nachos and other salty snacks, alcohol, fruit flavoured drinks, soft drinks, sports and energy drinks, and sweetened hot or cold drinks.

Read the label

Compare the Nutrition Facts table on food labels to choose products that contain less fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium.

Keep in mind that the calories and nutrients listed are for the amount of food found at the top of the Nutrition Facts table.

Limit trans fat

When a Nutrition Facts table is not available, ask for nutrition information to choose foods lower in trans and saturated fats.


This information was provided by Health Canada