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What Does Five Portions Of Fruit And Vegetables Look Like?

Avatar for Hadyn Luke Hadyn Luke posted this on Wednesday 28th of August 2019 Hadyn Luke 28/08/2019


What Does Five Portions Of Fruit And Vegetables Look Like?

We’ve all heard about Five a Day in relation to the benefits of consuming five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

The NHS guidelines can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/5-a-day-portion-sizes/

If you’re wondering what a portion of fruit or veg looks like, they categorise an adult portion as being 80g and explain how this relates to specific foods, eg one portion is the equivalent of two satsumas, one banana, two broccoli spears or three heaped tablespoons of pulses or beans.

But did you know that Five a Day is only a minimum starting point – we should really be eating around five portions of fruit and five portions of veg every day.

Whether you eat most of your meals at home or on the go, there are ways to ensure you get your full daily quota of fruit and veg.

What does five portions of fruit and of veg look like in a daily diet?

The easiest way to get your full 10 a Day is to add some fruit and veg to every meal. But don’t forget that you can also replace unhealthy snacks, such as crisps, chocolate or biscuits, with snacks containing fruit and veg.

Here are a few ideas to help you stick to a 10 a Day diet:

Breakfast options:

Low-sugar cereal topped with a portion of grapes and a banana

Porridge mixed with a portion of dried fruit and one of stewed apples

Scrambled eggs with asparagus, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes

Mid-morning snack ideas:

A homemade fruit salad

Celery with peanut butter

Melon chunks sprinkled with pine nuts

Lunch options:

Roasted butternut squash and puy lentil salad with spinach, cherry tomatoes and pumpkin seeds

Chicken tacos with diced avocado and tomatoes

Vegetable soup

Focaccia sandwich with roasted slices of aubergine, courgette and pepper

Afternoon snack ideas:

Banana wrap – a banana wrapped in a wholewheat tortilla spread with peanut butter

Natural yoghurt or fromage frais topped with strawberries

Carrot sticks with hummus

Evening meal options:

Steak with parsnip chips, peas and mushroom gravy

Chicken curry made with cauliflower and mushrooms, served with curried chickpeas

Salmon fillets with noodles, chopped peppers, mushrooms and courgettes in soy sauce

Veggie sausages with carrot and swede mash

Nut roast made with root vegetables, red lentils and mixed nuts, with a tomato-based sauce

Dessert options

Apple and blackberry crumble with custard

Mango cheesecake

Rhubarb tart

Banana bread with frozen yoghurt

Tips for food on the go

Processed food is often high in sugar, salt and fat – even for snacks that many of us presume are a healthier option, such as vegetable crisps. So the ideal option is to prepare your meals at home from scratch.

For lunchtime meals, this can be done the evening before to save time. If you have a microwave at work, why not prepare some freezable meals at the weekend and simply take them out the night before or heat from frozen for soups, stews etc.

Any pitfalls to look out for?

Note that potatoes and similar starchy foods such as yams don’t count towards your five a day.

Dried fruit, fruit juice and smoothies should all be consumed in moderation as they can be high in sugar, which is detrimental to your diet and your teeth. Eating fresh fruit also provides important fibre not found in fruit juice and smoothies.

Other benefits of eating more fruit and veg

Eating more fruit and vegetables means you can replace some of the processed food and high carbohydrate meals with a range of healthy high and low carb options.

Fruit, root vegetables and sweetcorn, for example, are high-carbohydrate options that can provide an energy boost without resorting to starchy food. While there are plenty of low-carb options, such as water melon, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli and onion.


Although meat and two veg with mashed potatoes will give you two of your 10 a Day, it won’t be the healthiest meal if the meat is a cheap, fatty cut that has been fried and the mash is smothered in butter.

There are plenty of healthier options, just search for recipes online and consider replacing meat with other protein, such as fish, pulses, seeds and nuts, which are usually lower in calories and add healthy oils into your diet.

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