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Tips for Estimating Amount of Food Consumed

To get accurate results, nothing beats using a small scale. You can get a small digital scale for about $10.00.

This table lists some handy tips to help you estimate the amount of food you eat when you cannot measure or weigh it.

Breads and grains
½ cup cooked cereal, pasta, rice volume of cupcake wrapper or half a baseball
4-oz bagel (large) diameter of a compact disc (CD)
medium piece of cornbread medium bar of soap
Fruits and vegetables
medium apple, orange, peach tennis ball
¼ cup dried fruit golf ball or scant handful for average adult
½ cup fruit or vegetable half a baseball
1 cup broccoli light bulb
medium potato computer mouse
1 cup raw leafy greens baseball or fist of average adult
½ cup 6 asparagus spears, 7 or 8 baby carrots or carrot sticks, or a medium ear of corn
Meat, fish, and poultry, cooked
1 oz about 3 tbsp meat or poultry
2 oz small chicken drumstick or thigh
3 oz average deck of cards, palm of average adult's hand, half of a whole, small chicken breast, medium pork chop
1 oz hard cheese average person's thumb, 2 dominoes, 4 dice
2 tbsp peanut butter Ping-Pong ball
1/3 cup nuts level handful for average adult
½ cup half a baseball or base of computer mouse
1 cup tennis ball or fist of average adult

Source: Susan E. Gebhardt and Robin G. Thomas, "Nutritive Value of Foods", USDA Agricultural Research Service, Home and Garden Bulletin, Number 72, rev. October 2002 (on the 10th page of 103 page PDF file.)