640px-CouscousThis food category plays a role of providing the body with energy. This suggests that the amount of food consumed would depend on a person’s activity. This also implies that a more active person would require more of these foods.

Number of Recommended Servings

For all age groups, it is recommended to have at least six servings of starchy foods. Active people can have up to twelve servings. Body size is another factor to take into consideration when determining the number of servings to have. Younger children with a small body size would need fewer servings in comparison to their older counterparts. Similarly, more servings are needed by teenage boys, men, and older men in comparison to girls and women. For most men, eight servings is the approximate daily requirement.

Food Types to Consume

The healthiest to consume are starchy foods that are fiber-rich. Majority of the starchy foods are associated with high levels of fiber. It is recommended to try consuming wholegrain bread, brown rice, and whole meal pasta instead of white pasta and white rice. Wholegrain cereals and baked potatoes with their skins intact also contain high levels of fiber.

What Constitutes a Serving?

A serving as per the food pyramid may vary in size to the actual portion consumed by a person. For example, a sandwich made with two bread slices is equivalent to about two servings.

A serving comprises of: 2-3 crackers or crisp bread, a slice of wholegrain bread or brown bread (sliced), a half a cup of dry porridge oats, a third a cup of flaked breakfast cereal, and a half a cup of muesli. In addition, a serving may be a half a cup of mashed potatoes, two small or one medium-sized potato, 1 cup of couscous, one cup of yam or plantain, and half a cup of boiled pasta, rice, or noodles.