Portion Sizes

A tomato

Healthy Portions

Now it’s time for some fun. Ever had a pack of cards for lunch with a box of matches and a bunch of fives. Blimey!

We’re serious! Just a few tricks of the trade can help you to identify what the average portion of food might look like. By limiting some portion sizes this will help you to balance your energy intake.

Of course we’re all different and we all need different amounts of food and energy to fuel our bodies so remember this is only a guide.

Believe it or not the following can act as great reminders of healthy portion sizes:

The size of 3 dominoes or a small box of matches

Cheese can be high in fat but also contains a lot of calcium which is good for healthy bones. Limit portion sizes by choosing a chunk the size of three dominoes or a small box of matches. Find out more about dairy foods.

The size of your own fist

A great measure for fruit and vegetables. We are always being told to eat five portions a day, but what’s a portion?  Well for most fruits and vegetables it’s about the size that would comfortably fit into your hand.

The size of a grapefruit

If you’re picking carbohydrate foods - think grapefruit. A portion of potatoes, rice, pasta, green banana, yam, or any kind of bread should sort of resemble the size of one of these!

Size of a pack of cards

Most of us like meat, but what you might not know is that meat can have fat marbled between the muscle fibres.  It’s important to have some meat or other protein type foods at least twice a day, especially if you are still growing. Use a pack of cards to visualise your portion size.

Perfect Portions? Take The Meal Portions Challenge

When eating a meal do you:

Cover at least 1/3 of your plate with vegetables?

If you can answer yes to this well done so far, you’re on the right track.

Know when you have had enough to eat at mealtimes?

Knowing when your body has had enough to eat is an important part of getting the balance right.

Feel uncomfortably full after a meal?

If you do, and you’re not ill, it probably means you are eating too much or your portion sizes are too big.


Find out how healthy you are by taking part in our health quiz.

Take the quiz


Get some great ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner!