A guide to consuming 5 a day

The guideline of the consumption of five portions of fruit and vegetables came from the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is recommended that children and adults consume at least 400g of fruit and vegetables a day to avoid chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. The consumption of fruit and vegetables is also important to prevent deficiencies and health problems that may be associated with micronutrient deficiency.

One portion is approximately 80g which makes sense as 400/5 is 80. Now that we know how much we should be consuming, let's discuss how we can achieve this by highlighting portion sizes of fruit and vegetables and how we fit them into our daily schedule.

Fruit/Vegetable Average Weight of 1 Amount Required to reach 80g Amount required to reach 400g
Banana 1 medium Banana = 100g 1 Small Banana 4 Medium Bananas
Apple 1 medium Apple = 175g ½ Medium Apple 2.3 Medium Apples
Strawberries 1 Medium strawberry = 12g Approx 7 35 Strawberries
Kiwi 60g = 1 Kiwi 2 Kiwis 6.6 Kiwis
Melon 600g 80g = ⅛ Melon Approx ¾ Melon
Nectarine/Satsuma 40g 2 Satsumas 10 Satsumas
Carrots 1 medium carrot = 80g 1 medium carrot or 3 tablespoons 5 medium carrots
Peas Approx 0.3g 267 peas or 3 tablespoons Approx 1,330 peas

It is recommended that you consume your fruit and vegetables from a variety of sources. Below are some simple tips to achieve this.

  1. Consume at least one portion with each main meal. Fruit at breakfast time, sliced over cereal, mixed through porridge, topped on toast or just on its own! Lunchtime sandwiches and soups are a good opportunity to get some fresh whole fruit and vegetables in. Actively preparing vegetables to be consumed alongside or mixed through your dinner time meal will help you achieve your target intake. Avoid over cooking your vegetables, nutrients can be lost during the cooking process. They are best eaten raw but of course for all veg that is not possible.
  2. Consume fruit or vegetables at snack time.Take with you to work or school portions of fruit or chopped up raw veg such as carrots and peppers. These taste great with hummus! Fruit smoothies are also a yummy snack and a great way to consume your five a day. Prepare them the night before and consume chilled. Prepared smoothies sold in supermarkets can contain added sugar so be mindful of that if going for the ready made version.
  3. Try something new - rotate what you are buying. Check what is in season to help you decide.
  4. Frozen fruit and vegetables can be just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts so check the freezer! They are budget friendly and last longer.

If you are peckish, think fruit or vegetables first!

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