The tables that follow cover each of the five food groups. The foods are listed in the first column, with the portion size (lower and upper ends of ranges) in the second column.

Standard measures have been used: 1 tablespoon is a 15 ml spoon and 1 teaspoon is a 5 ml spoon.

  • Group Food 1
  • Group Food 2
  • Group Food 3
  • Group Food 4
  • Group Food 5
  • Group Food 6
Offer a serving at each meal and some snacks


BREADS Range of portion sizes
Bagel 1/4 - 1/2 bagel See more
Bread roll 1/4 - 3/4 roll
Bread slices (fresh or toasted) - wheatgerm 1/2 - 1 medium slice See more
Bread slices (fresh or toasted) - granary 1/2 - 1 medium slice See more
Bread slices (fresh or toasted) - white 1/2 - 1 medium slice See more
Bread sticks 1 - 3 large breadsticks
Bun (e.g. hot cross)* 1/4 - 1/2 bun
Chapatti 1/2 - 1 chapatti
Cream / wholemeal crackers 1 - 3 crackers
Crispbread 1/2 - 2 crispbreads
Crumpet 1/4 - 1 crumpet
Maltloaf* 1/2 - 1 slice See more
Naan bread 1/8 - 1/3 naan See more
Oatcakes 1 - 2 oatcakes
Pitta bread 1/2 - 1 mini or 1/4 - 1/2 pitta
Rice cakes 1 - 3 medium rice cakes
Scone 1/2 - 1 small scone
Teabread* 1/2 - 1 1/2 slices
Tortilla 1/4 - 1/2 large tortilla


BREAKFAST CEREALS Range of portion sizes
Dry flaked cereal (e.g. Cornflakes / Rice Krispies / Cheerios ™)* 3 - 6 heaped tablespoons See more
Museli* 2 - 4 tablespoons
Porridge / Ready Brek ™ made up with milk / water 5 - 8 tablespoons
Wheat biscuits (e.g. Weetabix ™)* 1/2 - 1 1/2 biscuits


COUSCOUS, PASTA, POTATOES AND RICE Range of portion sizes
Cassava / plaintain - boiled or fried 1 - 3 tablespoons
Couscous (cooked) 2 - 4 heaped tablespoons
Noodles (cooked) 1/2 - 1 small cup
Pasta (cooked) 2 - 5 tablespoons See more
Pasta in tomato sauce (e.g. spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce) 2 - 4 tablespoons
Potatoes
baked 1/4 - 1/2 medium potato
boiled 1/2 - 1 1/2 egg - sized potatoes See more
chips 4 - 8 thick cut chips See more
croquettes 1 - 2 mini croquettes
mashed 1 - 4 tablespoons See more
roast 1/2 - 1 small potato
waffles 1/2 - 1 waffle
wedges 2 - 4 medium wedges See more
Rice - boiled or fried 2 - 5 tablespoons See more
Offer at least 1 - 2 servings at each meal and also offer them with some snacks
These are low energy, high nutrient foods - allow toddlers to eat larger portions if they wish to.

FRUITS Range of portion sizes
Apple 1/4 - 1/2 medium apple See more
Avocado 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Banana 1/4 - 1 medium banana See more
Clementine / tangerine / mandarin 1/2 - 1 fruit See more
Dried apricots / prunes 1 - 4 whole fruits See more
Dried fruit snack bar* 1/2 - 1(15g) bar
Fruit salad 1/2 - 1 small bowl
Grapes and berries (e.g. blackberries / blueberries / raspberries / strawberries) 3 - 10 small grapes / berries See more
Kiwifruit / plum / apricot 1/2 - 1 fruit See more
Mango 1/4 - 1/2 mango
Melon 1/4 - 1 thin slice
Orange 1/4 - 1/2 orange
Peach / nectarine 1/4 - 1 whole fruit
Pear 1/4 - 3/4 whole fruit See more
Pineapple 1/4 - 1 medium slice See more
Raisins / sultanas* 1/2 - 2 tablespoons See more
Stewed fruit / tinned fruit / fruit puree 2 - 4 tablespoons

VEGETABLES Range of portion sizes
Bamboo shoots 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Beetroot 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Broccoli / cauliflower 1 - 4 small florets or 1/2 - 2 tablespoons See more
Brussels sprouts 1/2 - 3 sprouts
Cabbage 1 - 3 tablespoons
Carrot 1 - 3 tablespoons / 2 - 6 carrot sticks See more
Celery / cucumber / radishes / peppers / other salad vegetable 2 - 8 small sticks / slices See more
Cherry tomatoes 1 - 4 cherry tomatoes See more
Courgettes / squash / okra / aubergine 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Green / French beans 1/2 - 2 tablespoons See more
Leeks / onions / shallots 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Lettuce 1 - 2 small leaves
Mange touts 2 - 8 mange touts See more
Mixed vegetables 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Mushrooms 1 - 4 button mushrooms
Parsnip 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Peas 1/2 - 2 tablespoons See more
Spring greens / spinach (cooked) 1/2 - 2 tablespoons See more
Stir fried or roasted vegetables 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Swede / turnip 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Sweet corn 1/2 - 2 tablespoons See more
Tomato 1/4 - 1 small tomato
Vegetable soup 1/2 - 1 small bowl (60 - 125ml)
Serve about 3 times each day
An excess of these foods can reduce the appetite for iron-containing foods from the other food groups so limit serving sizes to those indicated. Milk should be given in a cup, mug or glass - not a bottle. See "Combining food for a balanced diet" Guidance and Tips sheet. Semi skimmed milk can be used from two years of age and skimmed milk from five years of age for children who eat a wide variety of foods.

MILK Range of portion sizes
Breast milk 5 - 10 minutes breastfeeding
Cow's milk as a drink 1 cup of milk (100 - 120 ml / 3 - 4oz) See more
Custard 5 - 7 tablespoons
Flavoured milk (e.g. chocolate / strawberry) 1 cup of milk (100 - 120 ml / 3 - 4oz)
Formula milk, Growing Up milk or Calcium enriched soya milk* 1 cup of milk (100 - 120 ml / 3 - 4oz)
Milk pudding 4 - 6 tablespoons
Rice pudding 2 - 5 tablespoons

YOGURTS AND MILK PUDDINGS Range of portion sizes
Yogurt 1 average pot (125ml) See more
Fromage frais 2 small pots (60g each)
Calcium enriched soya dessert 1 average pot (125ml)
Custard* 5 - 7 tablespoons
Milk pudding* 4 - 6 tablespoons
Rice pudding* 2 - 5 tablespoons

CHEESE Range of portion sizes
Cheese sauce 1 - 4 tablespoons
Cheddar / Edam / Parmesan / Brie / Camembert / Mozzarella in a sandwich or as a pizza topping
Cottage / ricotta cheese 1/2 - 1 tablespoon in a sandwich
Grated cheese 2 - 4 tablespoons as a pizza topping or in a sandwich
Processed cheese 15 - 21g (1 slice / 1 triangle or string / 1 Mini Babybel ™) See more
Spreadable cheese thickly spread on a slice of bread
Serve 2 - 3 times per day - twice for toddlers eating meat and fish and 3 times a day for vegetarians

MEAT Range of portion sizes
Bacon 1/4 - 1 rasher
Beef 1/2 - 1 slice
Beef burger / lamb burger without bun 1/4 - 1 small burger
Chicken 1 - 2 small slices
Chicken drumsticks 1/2 - 1 drumstick
Chicken nuggets 2 - 4 small nuggets
Chicken / turkey burger without bun 1/4 - 1 small burger
Duck 1 - 2 slices of breast meat
Frankfurter 1/2 - 1 small frankfurter
Ham 1/2 - 1 1/2 small slices 1 1/2 - 4 wafer thin slices See more
Lamb 1/2 - 1 slice
Lamb's liver 1/2 - 1 thin slice
Liver pate 1 - 2 tablespoons
Minced meat 2 - 5 tablespoons See more
Pork 1/2 - 2 small slices
Rabbit 1 - 2 slices
Salami 1 - 2 slices
Sausages 1/4 - 1 medium sausage See more
Sausages - cocktail 1 - 3 cocktail sausages
Turkey 1 - 2 slices of breast or dark meat

FISH Range of portion sizes
Fish: white / oily fresh fish 1/4 - 1 small fillet or 1 - 3 tablespoons See more
Shell fish: prawns, mussels etc 1/2 - 2 tablespoons
Taramasalata 1 - 2 tablespoons
Tinned fish in a sandwich / salad (e.g. tuna / salmon / sardines) 1/2 - 1 1/2 tablespoons See more

EGGS Range of portion sizes
Omelette (1 egg) 1/2 - 1 omelette
Poached / boiled / fried 1/2 - 1 egg See more
Scrambled egg 2 - 4 tablespoons

NUTS Range of portion sizes
Ground, chopped or crushed nuts 1 - 2 tablespoons
Peanut butter or other nut butters 1/2 - 1 tablespoon or thinly spread on bread

PULSES Range of portion sizes
Baked beans in tomato sauce 2 - 4 tablespoons
Bhajis or pakora made with chickpea flour 1/2 - 1 1/2 bhaji or pakoras See more
Chickpeas / hummus 1 - 2 tablespoons
Dhal / cooked lentils 2 - 4 tablespoons
Falafels 1 - 3 mini falafels (25g each) See more
Red kidney beans / bean salad / other starchy beans 2 - 4 tablespoons
Tofu 2 - 4 tablespoons

SOUPS Range of portion sizes
Homemade soups with meat / fish / pulses 1 small bowl (90 - 125ml) See more
Puddings and snacks - include up to twice a day
These foods add enjoyment to meals and snacks but as they are high energy, low nutrient foods the maximum serving size should be limited to the upper end of the range. Cake or biscuit can be served with fruit to make a nutritious pudding or snack.

PUDDINGS AND SNACKS Range of portion sizes
Biscuit
chocolate coated* 1/2 - 1 biscuit See more
digestive (plain)* 1/2 - 1 biscuit See more
fruit (e.g. garibaldi)* 1 - 2 biscuits See more
plain (e.g rich tea / ginger nut)* 1 - 2 biscuits
sandwich (e.g. bourbon / custard cream)* 1/2 - 1 biscuit See more
Cake
cake - style pudding with fruit (e.g. apple sponge cake) 2 - 4 tablespoons
cake - style pudding without fruit (e.g. sticky toffee pudding) 2 - 4 tablespoons
cup cake* 1/2 - 1 (25g) cup cake
fruit cake* 1/2 - 1 slice
madeira / swiss roll / sponge* 1/4 - 1/2 slice
Cereal bar* 1/2 - 1 (20g) bar
Chocolate mousse* 1 - 3 tablespoons
Croissant (plain) 1/2 - 1 (45g) pastry
Danish / chocolate croissant* 1/4 - 1/2 medium pastry
Fruit crumble (e.g. apple or rhubarb crumble)* 2 - 4 tablespoons
Fruit pie or tart (e.g. apple pie / apricot tart)* 1/2 - 1 small slice
Fruit sorbet / smoothie* 2 - 3 tablespoons
Ice cream* 2 - 3 heaped tablespoons
Jelly* 2 - 4 tablespoons See more
Muffin* 1/8 - 1/4 of a large (125g) muffin
Pancake* 1/2 - 1 small pancake
Trifle 2 - 4 tablespoons

Sauces, spreads and extras
Include 1 or 2 items at each meal to add flavour and enjoyment to the meal. The maximum serving size should be limited to the upper end of the range as these foods are high in energy or salt and an excess of high energy foods can contribute to overweight and obesity.

SAUCES, SPREADS AND EXTRAS Range of portion sizes
Fats and oils
Added sugar 1/2 - 1 teaspoon
Butter / margarine thinly spread - 1 teaspoon
Canned / packet soups 1 small bowl (90 - 125 ml)
Chocolate spread thinly spread - 1 teaspoon
Double cream 1 tablespoon
Extra butter on crispbread / crackers / vegetables / pasta 1 teaspoon
Gravy 1 - 2 tablespoons
Honey / jam / marmalade / syrup* thinly spread - 1 teaspoon
Marmite ™ / Vegemite ™ thinly spread
Mayonnaise / salad cream / oil / vinegar dressing 1 - 2 teaspoons
Oil for frying - rapseed oil is best 1 teaspoon
Sweet drinks (e.g. fruit juices / diluted squashes) 100 - 120ml / 3 - 4oz
Tomato ketchup / brown or BBQ sauce 1 - 2 teaspoons
Sauces and sweet and savoury spreads
Chocolate spread Thinly spread – 1 teaspoon
Gravy 1-2 tablespoons
Honey/ jam / marmalade / syrup Thinly spread – 1 teaspoon
Tomato ketchup / brownor BBQ sauce 1-2 teaspoons

High energy foods that can be offered occasionally in limited amounts
Limit these foods to occasional meals - no more than one item at one or two meals per week. Do not use as a reward, treat or to comfort a child.

CONFECTIONERY Range of portion sizes
Bar of chocolate / chocolate - coated biscuit bar 2 - 4 squares or a funsize chocolate bar See more
Boiled sweets 1 - 2 sweets
Chocolate buttons* 6 - 8 small buttons See more
Ice lolly* 1/4 - 1/2 small ice lolly
Popcorn - sweet* 1/2 - 1 small cup See more
Soft Sweets (e.g. jelly tots / jelly beans)* 2 - 4 sweets See more
Diluted squashes 100-120ml / 3-4oz
Fruit juices 100-120ml / 3- 4oz

SAVOURY SNACKS Range of portion sizes
Bombay mix 1 - 3 teaspoons
Corn / Tortilla chips 4 - 6 chips
Crisps and packet snacks (e.g. Wotsits ™ / Hula hoops ™) 4 - 6 crisps / Wotsits ™ / Hula hoops ™ See more
French fries - thin (fast food) 6 - 10 fries
Fried flatbreads (e.g. puris / parathas) 1/8 - 1/4 small puris or parathas
Popcorn - unsweetened 1/2 - 1 small cup See more
Poppadoms 1/2 - 1 poppadom
Vegetable crisps 4 - 6 crisps
The food groups included in each portion are shown in the third column of each table.
CASSEROLES, CURRIES, STEW OR STIR FRY Range of portion sizes Food Groups
Meat / chicken / fish / pulses with vegetable based sauce and potatoes 3 - 6 tablespoons 1, 2 and 4
Meat / chicken / fish / pulses with vegetable based sauce without potatoes 2 - 5 tablespoons 2 and 4

FISH PRODUCTS Range of portion sizes Food Groups
Fish battered or in breadcrumbs 1 - 3 heaped tablespoons 4 and 5
Fish cakes 1/2 - 1 (90g) fish cake 1 and 4
Fish fingers 1 - 2 fish fingers 4 and 5
Fish and potato pie 2 - 6 tablespoons 1 and 4 See more

PASTA DISHES Range of portion sizes Food Groups
Lasagne (meat) 2 - 5 tablespoons 1 and 4
Lasagne (vegetable) 2 - 5 tablespoons 1 and 2
Macaroni cheese 2 - 5 tablespoons 1 and 3 See more
Ravioli (meat) 2 - 5 large pieces 1 and 4
Ravioli (vegetable) 2 - 5 large pieces 1 and 2
Spaghetti bolognese 3 - 5 tablespoons 1 and 4

PIZZAS Range of portion sizes Food Groups
Pizza (meat / vegetable / cheese toppings) 1 - 2 small slices / 1/4 - 1 mini (70g) pizza 1, 3 and 4 See more
Pizza (vegetarian toppings) 1 - 2 small slices / 1/4 - 1 mini (70g) pizza 1 and 3 See more

PIES AND PASTRIES Range of portion sizes Food Groups
Shepherds pie / cottage pie 2 - 5 tablespoons 1 and 4 See more
Meat pie in pastry 2 - 4 tablespoons 1, 4 and 5
Meat pasty 1/4 - 1/3 pasty 1, 4 and 5
Mini sausage rolls 1 - 3 mini sausage rolls 1, 4 and 5
Toad in the Hole 1/2 - 1 small 1, 4 and 5
Quiche 1/2 - 1 1/2 small slices (30 - 90g) 1, 3, 4 and 5 See more
Samosas (meat) 1/2 - 1 samosa or 1 - 2 small samosas 1, 4 and 5 See more
Samosas (vegetable) 1/2 - 1 samosa or 1 - 2 small samosas 1, 2 and 5 See more
Yorkshire pudding 1/2 - 1 individual Yorkshire pudding 1 and 3

SOUPS Range of portion sizes Food Groups
Homemade vegetable soup with meat / fish / lentils / beans 1 small bowl (90 - 125ml) 2 and 4 See more
Homemade minestrone soup 1 small bowl (90 - 125ml) 1 and 4
Foods marked with an asterisk * should be limited to mealtimes and no more than one snack per day because of their sugar content.
Household spoons vary in size: tablespoons are about 15ml and teaspoons are about 5ml, but can be less.
In calculating portions sizes, measuring spoons were used. Click here to view images