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; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.
Based on their nutrient content, vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups: dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.
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 to see the full table.
*These are general recommendations by age. Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan.
|Toddlers||12 to 23 months||⅔ to 1 cup|
|Children||2-4 yrs||1 to 2 cups|
|5-8 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 raab (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
|Pumpkin, calabaza||1 cup, mashed, cooked|
|Red and orange bell peppers||
1 large bell pepper
|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||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, 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 more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your 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 yucca.
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.
All food and beverage choices matter – focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.
- As part of an overall healthy diet, eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
- Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
- Adding vegetables can help increase intake of fiber and potassium, which are important nutrients that many Americans do not get enough of in their diet.
Food Group Gallery
Curious about the foods in the Vegetable Group? What does a cup or half a cup of vegetables look like? Check out the Food Group Gallery! This is also a great resource if you're trying to eat more vegetables or you want to bump up the variety with something new.
Bok choy, chili peppers, lentils... they're all waiting for you in the Vegetable Group Gallery!