Computer-administered questionnaires have received increased attention for large-scale population research on nutrition. In Belgium-Flanders, Young Adolescents' Nutrition Assessment on Computer (YANA-C) has been developed. In this tool, standardised photographs are available to assist in portion-size estimation. The purpose of the present study is to assess how accurate adolescents are in estimating portion sizes of food using YANA-C. A convenience sample, aged 11–17 years, estimated the amounts of ten commonly consumed foods (breakfast cereals, French fries, pasta, rice, apple sauce, carrots and peas, crisps, creamy velouté, red cabbage, and peas). Two procedures were followed: (1) short-term recall: adolescents (n 73) self-served their usual portions of the ten foods and estimated the amounts later the same day; (2) real-time perception: adolescents (n 128) estimated two sets (different portions) of pre-weighed portions displayed near the computer. Self-served portions were, on average, 8 % underestimated; significant underestimates were found for breakfast cereals, French fries, peas, and carrots and peas. Spearman's correlations between the self-served and estimated weights varied between 0·51 and 0·84, with an average of 0·72. The κ statistics were moderate (>0·4) for all but one item. Pre-weighed portions were, on average, 15 % underestimated, with significant underestimates for fourteen of the twenty portions. Photographs of food items can serve as a good aid in ranking subjects; however, to assess the actual intake at a group level, underestimation must be considered.