What are the benefits to eating your 5 a day?
To get the benefits of eating your 5 a day, you need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, rather than just eating 5 portions of the same type of fruit or veg. Aim for 3 different vegetables and 2 different fruits each day.
There are lots of easy ways to add extra vegetables to your meals such as grated carrots or courgettes in spaghetti Bolognese or cauliflower and green beans in your curry. Red peppers go really well in pasta sauce and you can easily mix peas or spring onions into mashed potato. Every meal or snack time should be used as an opportunity to reach your 5 a day target.
What counts as 5 a day?
- Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and fruit juices/smoothies all count towards your 5 a day, so you have plenty of options to choose from
- One portion of fresh fruit or veg is around 80g, 30g if it’s dried fruit, and 150ml for juices or smoothies
- Eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day provides the body with vitamins, minerals and fibre you need to stay healthy. Keep your diet interesting by eating a variety of fruit and vegetables
- 150ml of fruit juice, veg juice or a smoothie will provide you with 1 of your 5 a day. If you’re making your own smoothies, try kale and spinach with kiwi, banana and apple juice
- Include plenty of mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans in you weekend cooked breakfast
- Use stewed fruit, such as apples or rhubarb instead of milk in your muesli – to make your own bircher pot!
- Stir some fresh fruit into a bowl of yoghurt for a sweet breakfast
- Try putting chopped fruit on top of your cereal
- Make your own savoury muffins using veg like sweetcorn, courgette and tomatoes
- Avocado on toast is still very popular – why not try mixing some chopped tomatoes in with the avocado?
- Sweetcorn fritters are delicious with poached eggs
- Sautéed kale with a dash of sweet chilli sauce is a great side for scrambled eggs
- Add your favourite fruit to your breakfast cereals
- Making overnight oats is an easy way to include fruit in your breakfast
- When making your lunchtime sandwiches add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber or grated carrots
- Roast extra of your favourite veg when you're making dinner and add to couscous to take for lunch
- Bake a jacket or sweet potato the night before and fill it with tuna and sweetcorn
- Make soup to use up any leftover veg
- Mash up an avocado instead of using mayonnaise
- Mix up your pasta salad by adding tinned beans or chopped tomatoes or peppers
- Swapped your pulled pork wrap for jack fruit
- Have a fruit or veg based snack instead of crisps or chocolate
- Drink a glass of 100% pure fruit juice with your food
- Try to have two different types of vegetable with an evening meal but remember although potatoes are nutritious they don’t count as a part of your 5 A Day target
- Stir fries are a great quick and easy meal
- Use sweet potato for chips or wedges
- Add plenty of veg to casseroles
- A handful of peppers, mushrooms, onions or pineapple on your pizza
- Make cauliflower ‘rice’ instead of rice
- Cook frozen veg pouches as a quick side dish, or add to soups, pasta, stir fries and sauces
- On a BBQ, make veggie skewers and have corn on the cob
- Add veggies and cooked potato to upgrade an omelette to a meal
- Grate carrot into your Bolognese or use courgetti instead of spaghetti
- Add kidney beans to your chilli – or go all out and make a 3 bean chilli
- Add sweet potato or sweetcorn to curries
- Add spring onions, leeks, cabbage, peas to mash. Or make your mash from veggies such as broccoli, carrot, celeriac & sweet potato
- Slice carrots, aubergines, courgettes and peppers. Brush with olive oil and cook on a griddle. Serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil for an easy, tasty Italian dish
- Mix veg into your sides – sweetcorn or kidney beans through rice and peas into mash
- Blend up mushrooms into sauces to thicken them
- Add peas to pasta sauces and use sliced aubergine or butternut squash instead of lasagne sheets
- Chop up carrots, peppers, cucumber, celery and dip in houmous, guacamole or salsa
- Make vegetable crisps by slicing thinly and baking in the oven
- Grate cucumber into plain yoghurt for a dip with corn chips or chopped veg
- Order a side of veg or salad in restaurants
- Add veg to your smoothies
- Make houmous using different beans, pulses and veg
- Add veg to baking – beetroot, courgette and carrot work well in cakes
- Have some tinned fruit in natural juice for a snack or pudding
How we can help you get your 5 a day?
We clearly label which foods and drinks contain one of your 5 a day, so you can easily make the right choice. Look out for this logo on pack.
- Try to make it easy for children to eat fruit and vegetables by chopping it up into handy bite sizes
- Try to include fruit pieces or small salad items, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery or carrots in their lunch boxes
- Hiding chopped vegetables in sauces like Bolognese or casseroles
- Eat fruit and vegetables yourself so they can see that it tastes good, if they see you eating it they will be more inclined to as well
- If you are shopping with children let them choose their own fruit and vegetables in the supermarket
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