What a Day’s Worth of Fruits and Veggies Actually Looks Like

If you’re like me, figuring out how to correctly consume a daily serving of each of the recommended food groups seems overly complicated. The official lingo we hear about “serving sizes” and “ounce equivalents” often isn’t helpful because it’s used without context to help us translate it into daily life. Honestly, figuring this stuff out often makes me feel the same way I feel when doing taxes. Not a good sign.

For example, if I search Google for “Daily recommended servings of grains?” I am taken to a chart on USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov website where I find that a woman, aged 31-50, should consume 6 ounce equivalents each day and that at least half of those grains should be whole grains. Because “ounce equivalent” means nothing to me in relation to a muffin, bagel or slice of bread, I do another search for “What is an ounce equivalent of grains?” and am taken to yet another chart on USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov website that explains, “In general, 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal can be considered as 1 ounce equivalent from the Grains Group.”

Geez. Do you see what I mean?

Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of all the charts and long, detailed explanations and just see what a day’s worth of each food group looks like?

The Kitchn, a daily web magazine devoted to home cooking and kitchen design, wrote a great article recently that does just that, at least for fruits and vegetables. They share ten photos that provide a visual demonstration of a day’s worth of fruits and veg. What a concept!

FruitVeg svg

What if USDA’s website transitioned its recommendations into visual collages based on age and sex? What if, instead of getting a chart and long written instructions, I could see what a serving of fruits or grains looked like? Food for thought.

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Images by The Kitchn

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