Serving size of grain products

You are probably already familiar with the four food groups listed in Canada’s Food Guide (vegetables and fruits, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives); and you probably also know that you should aim for a certain number of servings from each food group every day. Do you know how many servings of grain products you should have every day? And do you know how to recognize a “serving” when you see one?

Below are some examples of one serving of grain products from Canada’s Food Guide:

Bread 1 slice (35g)
Bagel 1/2 bagel (45g)
Cold cereal 30g
Cooked cereal 3/4 cup (175 ml)
Cooked pasta 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Cooked rice 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Cooked barley 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Popcorn plain, popped 2 cups (500ml)

Keep in mind that a “serving” in Canada’s Food Guide is a reference amount of food. One slice of bread (weighing 35g) is considered one Grain Product serving in Canada’s Food Guide, so if you eat a sandwich with two slices of bread at lunch, those two slices would count as two “servings” of grain products. Let’s look at pasta as another example. One serving according to Canada’s Food Guide is a half cup of cooked pasta. If you enjoy 1 and a half cups of cooked pasta at home or in a restaurant, that portion would be equivalent to three servings of grain products.

So how many servings of Grain Products does Canada’s Food Guide recommend? Well that depends on your age and gender.

Age Male Female
19-50 years 8 servings 6-7 servings
51+ 7 servings 6 servings

Refer to Canada’s Food Guide for the recommended number of Grain Product servings for children and teens as well as the recommended number of servings for the other three food groups.

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