Serve recommendations for the five food groups

A serve size is the amount of food recommended for consumption by the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Serve recommendations outlined throughout Dairy Health
are based on a population approach, so that means serve recommendations for all five food groups will vary depending on factors such as age, gender, height and life stage. For example, an individual who is more physically active and taller will be able to include additional serves of some foods.

It is important to distinguish a serve size from a portion size. While a serve size is a recommended amount for consumption, a portion size is the amount consumers choose to eat on a single eating occasion. Research shows portion sizes are often larger than recommended serve sizes for junk foods and smaller for the five food group foods,1 which may lead to the development of chronic disease. Given the disconnect between the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendations and what people actually consume, promotion of appropriate serve sizes is important. 

Use the Nutrition Calculator to calculate recommended serves of the five food groups for each age and gender group.


Watch Cate Lombard on common myths about healthy weight management.


1 Zheng M, Wu J, Louie J, Flood V, Gill T, Thomas B et al. Typical food portion sizes consumed by Australian adults: results from the 2011–12 Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Sci Rep. 2016;6:19596.