Male aged 15+

The following information links to the sections in the food pyramid guide to balanced eating.

Calcium foods

Aim for three servings a day. A serving is one of the following:

  • one mug of semi-skimmed milk
  • one mug of sweetened soya milk
  • one cup of full cream milk
  • two small pots of fromage frais or one standard pot of whole milk yogurt
  • two cheese circles/triangles or equivalent cheese portion
  • two serving spoons of grated cheese
  • half a cup or one rounded serving spoon of cottage cheese
  • one standard rice pudding or custard pot.


Oils and spreads

Include a serving  at least at each meal time. A serving is one of the following:

  • two tsps oil or oil based salad dressing
  • two level tsps of spread
  • two rounded tsps if you're trying to restore weight
  • two level tsps of mayonnaise or salad cream
  • two rounded tsps if you're trying to restore weight
  • four heaped tsps of pesto.


Fruit and vegetables

Aim for five servings a day. A serving is one of the following:

  • one mug or tall glass of fruit juice
  • small bowl of salad
  • one serving spoon of fresh/frozen vegetables
  • one piece of fruit e.g. banana, apple, orange
  • two smaller fruits e.g. satsumas, plums
  • one cup of grapes or berries or cherries
  • one mug of strawberries
  • melon: one sixth of a whole melon or three slices from a pre-prepared  pack
  • one level serving spoon of dried fruit
  • two serving spoons of fruit salad or tinned fruit.



Aim for two to three servings a day. A serving is one of the following:

  • 1 ½  chicken breasts or equivalent meat portion
  • 4 medium slices of roast meat or 4  slices ham/chicken

  • 2 standard sausages

  • 4 chipolata sausages

  • 1 standard burger (quarter pounder size or 2 smaller burgers

  • 6 chicken nuggets
  • 1 breaded chicken fillet
  • 3 rounded serving spoons of meat – minced or cubed (4 if a high vegetable content) e.g. bolognese
  • 4 fish fingers
  • 1 baked fish fillet

  • 1 small tin of fish (e.g. salmon, tuna)

  • two eggs (e.g. scrambled/omelette/frittata)
  • three medium slices of nut, lentil or tofu roast
  • one small tin of lentils/kidney beans/chickpeas (e.g. in a curry/dhal/chilli) 
  • one small tin of baked beans
  • half a cup of nuts (e.g. a cashew stir-fry)
  • two rounded dessert spoons of nut butter
  • four falafel (golf ball size)
  • half a family pot hummus or two individual pots hummus. 

More vegetarian protein portions:

  • two standard vegetarian sausages
  • one vegetarian burger (quarter pounder size or two smaller burgers)
  • four slices Quorn ham or chicken
  • six Quorn nuggets
  • six Quorn meatballs,
  • one breaded or two non-breaded Quorn fillets
  • four Quorn fishless fingers
  • three rounded serving spoons of Quorn, tofu or soya mince (four if a high vegetable content)
  • three rounded serving spoons of tofu/cashew nut stir-fry (four if a high vegetable content)
  • three rounded serving spoons of Quorn fajita strips or BBQ strips (four if a high vegetable content)


 This food group should be included at least at each meal time . A serving is one of the following:

Breakfast cereal:

  • two cups of Rice Crispies/cornflakes
  • one and a half cups of other cereal
  • one and a half large porridge sachets
  • three Weetabix or shredded wheat.


  • a jacket potato or sweet potato (to fit the full stretch of your hand)
  • five egg sized potatoes or 10 baby potatoes
  • mashed potato: two and a half  rounded serving spoons
  • roast potatoes: four egg sized or serve three egg sized with 1 Yorkshire pudding
  • oven chips or potato wedges: to fit  one-third of a standard dinner plate.

Rice and pasta

  • one and a quarter cups of cooked rice, pasta, spaghetti or couscous
  • one third of a cup uncooked rice, couscous
  • one cup uncooked pasta
  • spaghetti (uncooked) to fit on top of a 10p piece.

Bread options:

  • two medium slices of bread or crumpets
  • one medium bread roll,
  • one bagel
  • one large wrap or chapatti
  • one pitta bread
  • one English breakfast muffin
  • seven crackers (e.g Jacob’s, Ryvita, Nairn’s)

Mixed meals, containing carbohydrate. Four-five rounded serving spoons:

  • lasagne
  • shepherds pie
  • pasta bake.

  Two thirds of a whole thin crust pizza


Recommended fluid intakes over a whole day


  • 2000mls /day.

Reference: British Dietetic association Fluids fact sheet 2017

NB: Additional fluid is recommended to maintain hydration in hot weather and during exercise.

Desserts and snack foods containing fats and sugars


  • Fruit crumble: One rounded serving spoon with one serving spoon of custard
  • Sponge pudding: An individual pot or one rounded serving spoon with one serving spoon of custard
  • Cheese cake: individual pot or three finger width slice.
  • Banoffe pie: three finger width slice
  • Ice cream (not sorbet): two full scoops
  • Trifle: individual pot or one rounded serving spoon

Snack foods

These snack options all, link to the different sections within the ‘food pyramid educational guide to balance eating’.  They all have a similar energy content, which aims to increase your confidence in choosing different options.

Including snacks from the different food groups is an important part of balanced eating. Choosing different snacks throughout the week will ensure a varied intake, and be an important part of meeting your overall nutritional needs.

Snack foods with fats and sugars:
  • a packet of potato crisps
  • one cup of tortilla chips
  • a cake slice or jam tart
  • two digestive/ hobnob/bourbon type biscuits
  • three oreo/ginger nut/jaffa cake type biscuits
  • one standard flapjack bar
  • three mini chocolate brownie, millionaire, rocky road  or cornflake cluster bites
  • one chocolate biscuit bar (e.g Penguin, 2 finger Kitkat, Time out bar) with a piece of fruit
  • one bar of chocolate (e.g Crunchie, Daim Bar, 6 squares from a sharing bar).
Oils and spreads:

Add one level tsp of butter/spread (+jam) to the options where listed.

Carbohydrate snacks:
  • cereal bar (e.g Nature Valley/Nutrigrain/Eat Natural)
  • toast or fruit bread ( x1 slice with spread and jam)
  • flavoured popcorn ( two cups )
  • malt loaf/banana loaf (x2 slices with spread)
  • hot cross bun
  • two scotch pancakes
  • crumpet ( x1 with spread and jam)
  • two crackers/oatcakes with a protein topping (see protein section)
  • sushi (mini pack of five pieces)
  • one cup of pretzels.

Calcium snacks:

  • A standard pot of whole milk yogurt (e.g Muller fruit corner, Activia, Greek Style etc)
  • individual rice pudding pot
  • individual custard pot
  • a bowl of cereal (one cup) with milk (3/4 cup)
  • ice-cream (two scoops or cornetto style)
  • cheese with crackers or vegetables sticks (see protein section)
  • cup of full cream milk
  • mug of semi-skimmed milk
  • cup or carton of flavoured milk or hot chocolate.

Fruit and vegetables snacks

  • a large individual box of raisins or (1/3 cup measure)
  • 10 dried apricots
  • a packet of yogurt coated raisins with a piece of fruit
  • a small handful of vegetable sticks with a snack pot of hummus or two rounded dessert spoons of peanut butter/cream cheese
  • a standard vegetable spring roll
  • a mug of fruit juice
  • individual bottle of fruit smoothie.

Protein snacks:

  • nuts or nuts and raisins or Bombay mix (1/4 cup)
  • salted edamame beans (1/3 cup)
  • three mini scotch eggs
  • a standard sausage or cheese and onion roll
  • one standard Peperami with a portion of fruit
  • cheese/hummus/peanut butter with  crackers (two rounded tsps of cream cheese/peanut butter or hummus with 2 crackers/oatcakes).

Standard cup measurements listed refer to standard baking cup measures: one cup = 250mls. One mug = 300mls.

Food portion sizes