Publication Details

This article first appeared as: Williams, PG, Gibson, B & Smith, N, Serve sizes of grain based foods in Australia, Food Australia, 2002, 54(6), 213-220.


A survey was conducted of the recommended serve sizes used on the labelling of 807 grain based foods sold in Sydney stores in 2000. These values were compared with the serve sizes used in a variety of food selection guides, including the Australian Guide to Health Eating (AGHE). In most food categories there was a great deal of variation in the serve sizes recommended, sometimes up to 20 fold. The most consistent recommendations were for sliced breads, with most manufacturers recommending two slices as a serve, and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals (one cup). The median values for cereal products were mostly lower than the typical reported amounts consumed by adult Australians and those recommended in the AGHE. The recommended serves for pulses were higher than the AGHE serves. It is suggested that food manufacturers attempt to standardise the values closer to those in the AGHE and to provide both raw and cooked serve sizes, where appropriate. The AGHE also needs to be extended to include recommended serve sizes for increasingly popular categories of grain foods such as crispbreads, noodle soups, cereal bars and couscous.