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View Full Version : For cooks: Few silly questions about food serving sizes



boron
08-24-2010, 06:09 PM
EDIT: I need serving sizes of some specific foods - amounts of prepared foods eaten by an adult person at one sitting. I need this to put in charts and add calories, nutrients content. It will be published in an online article about nutrients for the educational purpose. Like, "2 tablespoons of oil have about 240 calories"...without mentioning exact brands, but rather only types of food.

So, do below amounts of foods sound like reasonable amounts eaten at one sitting by an adult to you? An average, expected, usual..amount. I know it's hard to imagine what's 100 g of bread, but this is exactly why I ask. Cooks should be familiar with this.


White bread, 100 g
Potatoes, boiled, 150 g
White rice, boiled, 1 cup
Oil (as a salad dressing), 2 tablespoons
Ready-to-eat cereals, cooked, 1 cup
Shortbread cookies 100 g
Chocolate cake, 100 g
Margarine, peanut butter or other spread..., 2 tablespoons
Beef steak, 150 g


What would be amount (in grams) of potatoe chips in one "grab-size bag"? Is this a common term in US or UK?

Some popular nutrition websites, like nutritiondata.com sometimes use unpractically small or big serving sizes, so you don't need to link to these sources...

There is a NLEA (Nutrition Labeling and Education Act) serving size, which is practical, but I can't find any extensive list of foods that would use this measure.

suki
08-24-2010, 06:11 PM
I need serving sizes of some specific foods - amounts of prepared foods eaten by an adult person at one sitting. I need this to put in charts and add calories, nutrients content...

Bread, 100 g
Potatoes, boiled, 150 g
Rice, boiled, 1 cup
Oil (as a salad dressing), 2 tablespoons
Ready-to-eat cereals, cooked, 1 cup
Cookies 100 g
Chocolate cake, 100 g
Margarine, peanut butter or other spread..., 2 tablespoons
Beef steak, 150 g

Do above amounts sound reasonable for you?

What would be amount (in grams) of potatoe chips in one "grab-size bag"? Is this a common term in US or UK?

There are many websites that have target meal plans and nutritional info - google around - fitday comes to mind, but there are others. look for healthy eating/meal planning sites as a base and then modify from there.

~suki

Fenika
08-24-2010, 06:12 PM
You can find all this on the interwebs. Just google 'potato nutritional content' and such until you find the best sites, then go through those.

For potato chips, find a brand and see if the label is online. If not, pick another. For something like junk food, serving sizes vary wildly.

boron
08-24-2010, 06:19 PM
I need your opinion about food (not meal) serving size, I mean, about the expected amount of abovementioned foods eaten at one sitting. I can find nutrient content and all data easily then.

So, if you eat bread for breakfast, do you think you eat it about 100 g?

jennontheisland
08-24-2010, 06:21 PM
So, if you eat bread for breakfast, do you think you eat it about 100 g?
No, I think I eat one or two slices.

Normal people don't measure bread in grams.

If you're going to insist on weights as measurements, you're going to have to give some kind of conversion.

boron
08-24-2010, 06:31 PM
Yes, all should be as imaginable as possible, so I will write bread, 1 big slice, 100 g. They are at least three shapes of bread: toast, loaf and round loaf, so grams in one slice may vary considerably.

jennontheisland
08-24-2010, 06:38 PM
The same goes for cookies, cake, and potatoes.

If I saw 100g as a serving size, I'd look somewhere else for information.

And saying that slices "vary considerably" will only further confuse people. A big slice? Is that a thick slice? or one with greater length and width? This kind of ambiguity is not helpful in a diet site for people who are examining their food on a micro scale.

And toast isn't a shape. It's what you get when you toast bread. I have no idea what you mean when you say toast as a shape.

Fenika
08-24-2010, 06:39 PM
I don't eat bread for breakfast.

boron
08-24-2010, 07:14 PM
And toast isn't a shape. It's what you get when you toast bread. I have no idea what you mean when you say toast as a shape.

In Europe, toast is often used as a specific word for a packaged, fresh, sliced (square shape) bread with extended shelf flife. It has a smaller diameter than a regular loaf. Two slices of "toast", when actually toasted, with a salami and cheese in between, is called hot sandwitch. So, from here the confusion. Loaf slices have an oval shape here.

Now I think it could be:

1 thick, full lenght slice (from 1 pound rounded loaf), 70 g
1 thick slice, loaf, 35 g

jennontheisland
08-24-2010, 07:26 PM
In Europe, toast is often used as a specific word for a packaged, fresh, sliced (square shape) bread with extended shelf flife. It has a smaller diameter than a regular loaf. Two slices of "toast", when actually toasted, with a salami and cheese in between, is called hot sandwitch. So, from here the confusion. Loaf slices have an oval shape here.

Now I think it could be:

1 thick, full lenght slice (from 1 pound rounded loaf), 70 g
1 thick slice, loaf, 35 g
Is this site only going to be veiwed by Europeans? If not, you might want to consider how the rest of the world measures and views things (huh, and here I thought I'd only ever have to point that out to Americans)

And still, a pound of bread? No one measures bread by the pound.

A full length slice? Unless you plan on indicating the weight for some kind of half-length slice, this is confusing

1 thick slice, loaf, 35g? Is that for a slice or loaf??

OMFG this is way too confusing and I click away to find a site with normal measurements.

PeterL
08-24-2010, 09:18 PM
I need serving sizes of some specific foods - amounts of prepared foods eaten by an adult person at one sitting. I need this to put in charts and add calories, nutrients content...

Bread, 100 g
Potatoes, boiled, 150 g
Rice, boiled, 1 cup
Oil (as a salad dressing), 2 tablespoons
Ready-to-eat cereals, cooked, 1 cup
Cookies 100 g
Chocolate cake, 100 g
Margarine, peanut butter or other spread..., 2 tablespoons
Beef steak, 150 g

Do above amounts sound reasonable for you?

What would be amount (in grams) of potatoe chips in one "grab-size bag"? Is this a common term in US or UK?


Those serving sizes are within the reasonable range, bu, as you know, that range is quite elastic. I would complain that the steak is too small, but Americans eat more meat than other peoples. I have no idea about the cereal, because I never eat the stuff. I don't know about grab-size bags". A small bag of potatoe chips, or crisps, might be as small as one ounce, but a two or four ounce bag would be more reasonable. One ounce equals 28.35 grams.

DeleyanLee
08-24-2010, 09:43 PM
I need serving sizes of some specific foods - amounts of prepared foods eaten by an adult person at one sitting. I need this to put in charts and add calories, nutrients content...

Bread, 100 g
Potatoes, boiled, 150 g
Rice, boiled, 1 cup
Oil (as a salad dressing), 2 tablespoons
Ready-to-eat cereals, cooked, 1 cup
Cookies 100 g
Chocolate cake, 100 g
Margarine, peanut butter or other spread..., 2 tablespoons
Beef steak, 150 g

Do above amounts sound reasonable for you?

I've gone through and editing this post several times because the assumptions your OP makes are simply remarkable to me.

Are you talking about things that people eat every day? I go months without cookies, cake and weeks without any form of beef. It takes me 9 months to eat through a small jar of peanut butter and I never voluntarily touch margarine if butter can be had. I've never eaten a boiled potato that wasn't mashed (with butter and milk) in my life.

Your list, let alone the measurements, seem very unrealistic to me and the real-life eating habits of myself and pretty much every person I've ever shared a meal with. And, FWIW, unless someone was obsessively on a diet, I've never known anyone to measure out their food before putting it on their plates so they know for certain what it is their eating. Perhaps it's more common where you are than here in the Midwest, US.

Which all leads me to the question of what you're intending the information for so people can better assist you with the information.

Fenika
08-25-2010, 12:26 AM
Exactly.

And I've been wanting to ask the OP what purpose this is for. You say a chart, and it's clearly not story research. So why are you asking vague questions and then making vague clarifications about what you want from us? It sounds like you want people to give you a food diary, and if we're going to guess the GRAMS of food we eat, you are going to get some wild estimates.

And again, since we don't know the point, you're going to get some commentary. You'd prolly get some regardless, since food is a very broad subject with lots of opinions.

PeterL
08-25-2010, 12:34 AM
......

Cath
08-25-2010, 04:20 AM
Ok - cool it folks. Some of you have PMs. Now play nice or I'll have to get out the Mod Tools. And I really hate it when I have to do that.

RobinGBrown
08-25-2010, 09:36 AM
Boron the original question while being precise also has a lot of information missing - like what the purpose is. I't would be a lot easier to give an answer if you gave some context.

boron
08-25-2010, 11:53 AM
Boron the original question while being precise also has a lot of information missing - like what the purpose is. I't would be a lot easier to give an answer if you gave some context.

OK, all this is maybe a question for cooks...

My goal is to make a chart to show an amount of calories, proteins, fats...an adult gets with an usual amount of a certain popular foods eaten at one sitting.This is intended for educational purpose rather than exact calculation, since I will not include any brands.

So, like PeterL said, a 150 g beef steak sounds small to him, so maybe it should be 200 or 250 grams?...I know...it depends...but I'm trying to find a realistic average amount of foods eaten by an adult at one sitting. Existing online charts use amounts of nutrients, for example, in beef steak, in 100 g, or in "a piece of size of a deck of cards"...what needs a lot of math to find out what you actually get with one usual meal.

My charts will look like:

- Bread, white, two 1.5 cm thick slices from a loaf (70 g)...5 g protein.
- Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons (27 g)....27 g oil, 248 calories

So, again, what amount (in any exactly imaginable measure) of the following foods you think you eat at one sitting:

White bread
Potatoes, boiled, or mashed
White rice, boiled (One cup (250 mL) when prepared, or this sounds a lot?)
Chocolate cake (in grams)
Vegetable oil (as a salad dressing)
Ready-to-eat cereals (amount when prepared with water)
Cookies (from a 100 g package, how much would you eat at once?)

Also, what is a "grab-size bag"? I think I'll avoid this, anyway.

shaldna
08-25-2010, 01:33 PM
I need your opinion about food (not meal) serving size, I mean, about the expected amount of abovementioned foods eaten at one sitting. I can find nutrient content and all data easily then.

So, if you eat bread for breakfast, do you think you eat it about 100 g?


that depends on the bread. sometimes I'll have two slices, sometimes one. it depends on teh type of bread too. bloomer is lighter than soy. pan is lighter and smaller than plain bread, so it's hard to say for sure.

and it depends on how hungry you are. it's very hard to judge.

for instance, a standard bag of crisps can range from 20g to 50g, depending on the make etc, and whether they are potato or maize based.

cereal too, 'standard' serving size of cereal is 30g, but you could easily have three times that without really being aware.

shaldna
08-25-2010, 01:38 PM
http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_food.php

have a brilliant food tables, with alot of standard food size portions and thier nutritional contents etc.

for instance, if I click on 'girl scout cookies' and then select a brand i can see


List: Girl Scout Cookies
Food: Caramel deLites
Serving Listed: 2 cookies, 1.0 oz=28 g
Next: Set the correct number of Servings, then click on Calculate.

Kenn
08-25-2010, 04:10 PM
One way to judge the average portion of meat might be to look at the pre-packaged sizes in supermarkets. As an educated guess I would say it was typically around 180g-200g in the UK. Things like cookies will very much depend on the individual. I know some people who will scoff a whole packet in one go. I would eat around 150 g of potatoes for dinner but these would be accompanied with other vegetables (and probably a knob of butter, but don't ask me to guess the weight or indeed how much of it I end up eating). I don't eat cereals, but a way to judge that might be to find out how long a packet lasts most people.

SouthernFriedJulie
08-25-2010, 05:31 PM
If this is being written for the UK audience, why don't you visit a local eatery and talk with the chefs there?

I don't mean to be rude, but this IS an International site. For many of us, toast is any bread that has been...well...toasted. Cookies in the US and UK mean two different things.

In the US you're going to get blank looks with the 100g thing. The first thing I thought of when you said 100g pack of cookies was the 100 /calorie/ packs.

Also, when you say 'cooks', are you asking for professional chefs, food writers, or people cooking real food for their families everyday?

Another question, like everyone else: What is this FOR? You haven't clarified, just kept asking the same thing. If we knew what this was for, maybe we'd understand it better. A list of how many carbs we fata***s eat? ;-)

icerose
08-25-2010, 05:49 PM
I'm in the US so I don't deal with grams. I only cook for my family so I don't fastidiously measure anything and if they're still hungry they get more. Rather than grams why not give a more eyeball idea? Like pasta is half a cup, meat is the size of a standard deck of playing cards. Bread is a single slice. There are many more serving sizes right on the boxes of whatever you buy and all of this information is easily available on the web. They also vary wildly according to brand and type. For example if you picked up an oreo cookie set, they'd have I don't know maybe six cookies to a serving (I'm guessing because I don't eat sugar and I don't buy pre-packaged things.) But if you bought like a mother's cookie that are freakin huge, you'd get maybe one or sometimes even 1/4 of a cookie as a serving. Of course no one ever fourths their cookie and thus part of the problem with weight. One individual package would be one serving right? Not really.

This isn't really something anyone can do for you because you'd need extensive information and the only way to really get it is to do the research yourself. It's all out there, it's easy to find. nutritiondata.com is a good website.

boron
08-25-2010, 07:05 PM
@SouthernFriedJulie, this is for my online article about Nutrients, intended for the international audience, but 90% of the expected readers will be Americans. One chart will show a rough amount of calories in common foods, and I don't want to make it "per 100 g", but per actual amount of food that is usually eaten by an adult at one sitting. Like Kenn has suggested, I'll actually go to the Supermarket...The chart will not be precise enough to provide the exact amount of calories you consume in a day, but will show, for example, that 2 tablespoons of oil may contain 248 Calories (!), that there is only about 25 Calories less in 2 slices of wholegrain bread than in white bread, and so on.

I will probably use both US and metric units...A cook I was looking for is a person who has ever weighed any food on a kitchen scale.

Kenn
08-25-2010, 11:06 PM
In the UK also, most people tend to think in pounds and ounces still, although goods are marketed in g and kg (thanks to the EU). One thing to watch out for if you are going to start converting fluids is that a pint (and a gallon) is different in the UK and the US. In the UK, a pint it is 16 fluid ounces whereas it is 20 fluid ounces in the UK.

boron
08-26-2010, 12:35 PM
For weight units I'll use grams and ounces, for volume units I'll use milliliters, tablespoons, ounces and cups, and I'll avoid pints.

I went to a Supermarket here in Slovenia, and, by my surprise, both grams and ounces are mentioned elsewhere on the labels. Foods weigh more than I imagined; one medium apple is 200 g (7 oz), a medium steak is 230 g (8 oz), a medium bag of potato chips is 100 g (3.5 oz), one single plum is 1 oz...

Kenn
08-26-2010, 02:30 PM
Just to confuse things a little more, liters, meters and grams are American spellings. Litres, metres and grammes are used in the UK and are the accepted scientific spellings (since they are derived from French not English). Best just to refer to them as l, m and g!

boron
08-26-2010, 02:42 PM
Yes, I know UK/US difference, only did not know, metres is scientific use.

10 m spaghetti...200 calories :D .

Kenn
08-26-2010, 10:11 PM
Sorry to cause yet more confusion, but calories in food are really kilocalories. So you need to be clear what you are talking about. They are usually expressed as "kcal" on food labels. I think that there is pressure on food manufacturers to use kJ now instead, but they don't mean much to most people. In fact I wouldn't mind betting that most people haven't even heard of them!

boron
08-27-2010, 03:54 PM
@Kenn. I've changed calories in Calories. One Calorie = one "big calorie" = 1 kilocalorie. I'll try to use Calories (Cal) in the chart and I do explain this issue in the article. Kilijoules will be also added in brackets. You can find any possible form used anywhere on the internet. Nutritiondata.com uses Calories.

Few questions for Americans:
1. What is the basic (standard) size of canned fish in US? (In my country it is 115 g, except tuna which comes in "any" size).
2. What are some standard bread (fresh) weights in US?
3. What is standard volume of a fruit juice or soda for one person? (Here it is 0.5 L).
4. Standard volume of a beer can? (0.33 L, 0.5 L).
5. Chocolate (a tablet or how is a flat form of chocolate called) (Here it is 100 g, 3.5 oz).
6. Is regular margarine 80% or 60% fat? (Here 60% is regular)

Use ounces or whatever is used in US in each case.

CaoPaux
08-27-2010, 07:39 PM
I suggest browsing grocery store sites for product listings.

SouthernFriedJulie
08-29-2010, 05:38 PM
Thanks for answering my questions, Boron. I cook for a family of 6 daily and here's how I portion:

Meats- fist sized portion for each person. Keep in mind this is the person that is eating's fist. Not mine. So, my 18 month old has a much smaller amount than his 8 year old sister.

Veggies- As much as the eater wants. Usually around a half cup. No oil, no sauce- my kids love veggies. Only time for dressing: salad. Even then we stick with about two teaspoons.{if that}

Pasta- About a half cup. If it is a one dish meal, such as a summer pasta salad, I'll up that to 3/4 cup.

These are really rough guestimates, because we start with small servings and give more if anyone is still hungry.

boron
08-30-2010, 11:39 AM
I've eaten 3 cups of beans the other day - just to finish the can. I'll try to put most veggies in one cup. Nuts will be two oz.

Gregorach
09-01-2010, 12:42 AM
For things like rice, dried beans and pasta, you might want to say whether it is cooked or dried. A cup of dried foodstuffs swell a lot when cooked. People might get confused over whether they should measure these types of food before or after cooking.

boron
09-01-2010, 10:55 AM
@Gregorach, yes I say exactly is it boiled, roasted, chopped, sliced...I always describe only fully prepared foods.

boron
09-03-2010, 05:54 PM
In some movies, I've seen eggs and bacon as a typical american breakfast. Is this still popular and what would one portion likely contain: 2 fried egs and 3 oz bacon?

lbender
09-03-2010, 07:01 PM
Eggs and bacon can vary. Usually it would be 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon. Just to add to your confusion, though, the eggs may be large, extra large, or jumbo, and they may be fried, scrambled, poached, or boiled (hard or soft). Some people fry in butter, some in oil, some in neither.

One other thing. In Italy, if you go into a bar and ask for toast, you'll get a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Good luck.

boron
09-03-2010, 07:42 PM
OK; 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon. I'll manage the rest.

boron
09-06-2010, 04:10 PM
What is a "standard" pizza (whole) size for one adult? 12"?