The types and amounts of foods from the different food groups you need every day depends on:

  • Your age: growing children and teenagers need more food than younger children and older adults.
  • Your body size: a bigger and taller person will need more servings of each of the food groups than a smaller person, even if they are the same age.
  • Your gender: typically, males are bigger in size and have faster metabolic rates and therefore need more food than females.
  • Your activity level: this is the biggest factor in determining your overall energy needs and the total number of servings of each food group you need to eat each day to meet those energy needs. The more physically active you are the more energy (and servings of foods) your body will need.
  • Your health goals: if you are trying to lose weight, you will need to cut down on the numbers of servings and/or the portion sizes of foods that you might normally require.
Eat Smart! Eating Plan

A Registered Dietitian can create an eating plan for you based on your specific nutritional needs, your tastes and eating habits, your medications and your condition (diabetes, high blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and heart problems).

If a Registered Dietitian has not completed your Eat Smart! Eating plan, you are missing the best guidance to help you to control your condition (blood lipid levels, diabetes, high blood pressure) or promote healthy weight loss. Ask your Registered Dietitian to recommend an Eat Smart! Eating Plan for you.

An example of the suggested numbers of daily servings of each food group to meet different Calorie (energy) and nutrient needs are presented in the following eating plan. Suggested total numbers of daily servings from each food group needed to meet these energy needs are included in their respective columns. A chart on serving sizes is available here:

Food Groups MAKE A PLAN

 Your Dietitian’s Eat Smart! Eating Plan for You

Minimum or Weight
Loss Needs
Physically Active
Lifestyle Needs
1400 kcal 1600 kcal 1800 kcal 2000 kcal 2500 kcal 3000 kcal
Grain Products 6 8 10 10 12 12
Fruits 2 2 3 3 4 5
Vegetables 5 5 5 5 5 7
Milk Products 3 3 3 3 4 4
Animal Proteins
Plant Proteins
Fats and Oils 3 4 4 4 6 9
Sugar- Added Foods 2 2 2 3 4 6
Fluids 8 8 8 10 10 12
Approximate Carbohydrate (grams)

Approximate Protein (grams)

Approximate Fat (grams)