In case you have hidden under a rock for a few years, I will mention the recommendation that we eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day for good health. To make it clear that’s 5-a-day in total – such as, two fruit and three veg.
A portion is about the size of a handful or a tennis ball (80-100g) – such as an apple, banana or 6 brussel sprouts. A portion for a child is the size of their handful (perhaps a golfball size).To make sure that we get a variety of nutrients, 5-a-day also means eating 5 different fruit and veg each day and 5 differently coloured fruit and veg (like strawberries, apricots and spinach). Potatoes give us energy and so are not counted as one of our 5-a-day.
To meet the 5-a-day target, try to eat fruit or veg for most meals and snacks. There are so many choices and so many ways to include fruit and veg in your diet – here are a few examples:
- Try to start the day with some fruit – I like to have a banana or a few dried apricots with my morning coffee
- Breakfast – sprinkle a tablespoon of dried fruit onto your cereal (instead of sugar), have sliced banana on toast (delicious with a drizzle of honey), mix fruit into some yoghurt, make a smoothie, or have some juice
- Morning snack – try carrots or celery with homous or guacamole (these dips also count towards your 5-a-day)
- Lunch – try to include some salad or vegetables – choose soup with vegetables, munch on some cherry tomatoes, have a juice or smoothie, or finish with some fruit
- Afternoon snack – chopped or dried fruit with some nuts (nuts contain protein so will help fill you up until dinner time)
- Dinner – try to include salad, vegetables or finish with some fruit
Choose fruits and vegetables that you like and that you would be happy to eat regularly. Remember that canned, frozen and dried fruit and vegetables count towards your 5-a-day, and these are good choices which may overcome concerns about the prices or wastage of fresh fruits and veg.