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Vary your veggies.

What foods are in the Vegetable Group?

Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as part of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked and can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. They can be whole, cut-up, or puréed (mashed).

Vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups based on their nutrients: dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.

How many vegetables are needed daily?

The amount of vegetables you need to eat depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity. It can also depend on whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan. For general guidance by age, see the table below.

What counts as a cup of vegetables?

The following examples count as 1 cup from the Vegetable Group:

  • 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice
  • 2 cups of raw leafy salad greens

The table below lists specific amounts that count as 1 cup of vegetables for your recommended consumption.

More About the Vegetable Group

Note: Click on the top row to expand the table. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to turn your phone sideways to see the full table.

 *These are general recommendations by age. Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan.

Daily Recommendation*
Toddlers 12 to 23 months ⅔ to 1 cup
Children 2-3 yrs 1 to 1½ cups
4-8 yrs 1½ to 2½ cups
Girls 9-13 yrs 1½ to 3 cups
14-18 yrs 2½ to 3 cups
Boys 9-13 yrs 2 to 3½ cups
14-18 yrs 2½ to 4 cups
Women 19-30 yrs 2½ to 3 cups
31-59 yrs 2 to 3 cups
60+ yrs 2 to 3 cups
Men 19-30 yrs 3 to 4 cups
31-59 yrs 3 to 4 cups
60+ yrs 2½ to 3½ cups

  Amount that counts as 1 cup of vegetables
Dark-Green Vegetables Broccoli 1 cup, chopped or florets, fresh or frozen
Bitter melon leaves, chrysanthemum leaves, escarole, lambsquarters, nettles, poke greens, taro leaves, turnip greens 1 cup, cooked
Amaranth leaves, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli rabe (rapini), chard, collards (collard greens), cress, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress

1 cup, cooked

2 cups, fresh

Raw leafy greens: Arugula (rocket), basil, cilantro,  dark green leafy lettuce, endive, escarole, mixed greens, mesclun, romaine

2 cups, fresh

Red and Orange Vegetables Carrots

2 medium carrots

1 cup, slices or chopped, fresh, cooked or frozen

1 cup baby carrots

Pimento/Pimiento 3 whole

1 cup
Pumpkin, calabaza 1 cup, mashed, cooked
Red and orange bell peppers

1 large bell pepper

1 cup, chopped, fresh, or cooked

Red chili peppers ¾ cup
Sweet potato 1 large sweet potato, baked 

1 cup, sliced or mashed, cooked
Tomatoes 1 large tomato

2 small tomatoes

1 cup, chopped or sliced, fresh, canned, or cooked
100% vegetable juice 1 cup
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, Hubbard, kabocha) 1 cup, cubed, cooked
Beans, Peas, and Lentils Dry beans and peas and lentils (such as bayo, black, brown, fava, garbanzo, kidney, lima, mung, navy, pigeon, pink, pinto, soy, or white beans, or black-eyed peas (cow peas) or split peas, and red, brown, and green lentils) 1 cup, whole or mashed, cooked
Starchy Vegetables Breadfruit 1 ½ cups, cooked
Cassava ¾ cup, cooked
Corn, yellow or white 1 large ear of corn

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
Green peas 1 cup, fresh or frozen
Hominy 1 cup, cooked
Plantains ¾ cup, cooked
White potatoes 1 medium white potato, boiled or baked

1 cup, diced, mashed, fresh or frozen
Other Vegetables Asparagus 1 cup
Avocado 1 avocado
Bamboo shoots 1 cup
Bean sprouts 1 cup, cooked
Cabbage, green, red, napa, savoy 1 cup, chopped or shredded raw or cooked
Cactus pads (nopales) 5 pads

1 cup sliced
Cauliflower 1 cup, pieces or florets raw or cooked, fresh or frozen

1 cup, diced or sliced, raw or cooked

2 large stalks (11" to 12" long)

Cucumbers 1 cup, raw, sliced or chopped
Green or wax beans 1 cup, raw or cooked
Green bell peppers

1 large bell pepper

1 cup, chopped, raw or cooked, fresh or frozen

Lettuce, iceberg or head 2 cups, raw, shredded or chopped
Mushrooms 1 cup, raw or cooked
Okra 1 cup, cooked
Onions 1 cup, chopped, raw or cooked
Summer squash or zucchini 1 cup, cooked, sliced or diced

Why is it important to eat vegetables?

Eating vegetables provides health benefits. People who eat fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of the body.


Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. (Sauces or seasonings may add fat and calories.)


Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C.


Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, acorn squash, kohlrabi, and yuca.


Dietary fiber from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.


Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.


Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more easily.

bowl of salad and father and daughter making a salad

Health Benefits

All food and beverage choices matter. Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.

  • As part of an overall healthy diet, eating foods lower in calories per cup, such as vegetables, instead of higher-calorie food may help you lower your calorie intake.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce the risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Adding vegetables helps increase fiber and potassium, which many Americans do not get enough of.
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MyPlate.gov is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025