Food and Nutrition

  • Variety: By eating foods from all the different food groups and subgroups, you have a better chance to get all the nutrients and vitamins that you require daily.
  • Moderation: In the era of giant portion sizes, it is often hard to determine what the size of a serving. The chart below gives you a comparison as to how serving sizes should look.

1 Serving Looks Like …
Grains 1 cup cereal flakes = fist
1 pancake = compact disc
½ cup cooked rice or pasta = ½ baseball
1 slice of bread = cassette tape
1 piece of cornbread = a bar of soap
Dairy and Cheese 1 ½ oz cheese = 4 stacked dice
½ cup of ice cream = ½ baseball
Vegetables and Fruit 1 cup salad greens = baseball
1 baked potato = fist
½ cup fresh fruit = ½ baseball
¼ cup raisins = large egg
Meat and Alternatives 3 oz meat, fish and poultry = deck of cards
3 oz grilled/baked fish = checkbook
2 tbsp peanut butter = ping pong ball
Fats 1 tsp margarine or spreads = 1 dice

  • Proportionality: Eat more of some foods (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products) and less of others (foods high in saturated and trans fats, added sugar, cholesterol, salt and alcohol). The table below shows the daily recommend values of the different food groups.

Food Groups USDA Guidelines 1 Serving Example
Fruits 2 cups (4 servings) 1 medium fruit
½ cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
(Including: dark green, orange, legumes, and starchy vegetables)
2.5 cups (5 servings) ½ cup cut raw or cooked vegetable
½ cup vegetable juice
(Including: whole and other grains)
6 ounces (3 whole grain servings) 1 slice bread
1 cup dry cereal
½ cup cooked rice or pasta
Meat and Bean 5.5 ounces 1 oz cooked lean meats
½ cup nuts or seeds
1 egg
Milk 3 cups 1 cup low fat or non fat milk or yogurt
1 ½ oz of low fat or non fat cheese
Oils 24 grams (6 tsp) 1 tsp margarine
1 tbsp low fat mayo
2 tbsp light salad dressing

  • Know What You Are Eating: Food labels allow you to see what is in your food and also what constitutes a serving. By doing this you can determine where the foods you are consuming fit into your overall nutrition goals. This easy guide points out important aspects of food labels and how to best use them.
  • Differences in Nutrition: There are different dietary needs for each person, mainly in relation to gender and age. It is important to be conscious of those specific nutrients that you need to keep your body health. The best way to meet your daily requirements is to consume a variety of nutrient dense foods and beverages from the basic food groups and limit the intake of fats, sugars, salts and alcohol. Recent data has shown that there is a concern for intake levels of the following nutrients for:
    • Adults: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamins A (as carotenoids), C and E
    • Children and Adolescents: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E
    • Specific Populations: vitamin B12, iron, folic acid and vitamins E and D
      • People over 50 – consume vitamin B12 in its crystalline form (fortified foods or supplements)
      • Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant – Eat foods high in heme-iron, iron-rich plant foods or iron-fortified foods with an iron absorption enhancer.
      • Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant or in their first trimester of pregnancy – Consume an adequate amount of folic acid daily from fortified foods or supplements in addition to food forms of folate from a varied diet.
      • Older adults, people with dark skin, or those with limited exposure to sunlight – Consume extra vitamin D from vitamin D fortified foods and/or supplements.

Related Links
Contact Information

Department of Parks and Recreation
495 S. Main St.
Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Map)
Phone: (702) 229-PLAY (7529)
Fax: (702) 678-5858