Fruit and Vegetables – Part 2

The second part to this feature on fruit and vegetables explains how much fruit and veg you should eat to achieve your 5-a-day. I have also included some examples of how you can incorporate this into your daily diet.


How much is a portion?

Current policy from the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults should have a daily intake of at least 400g of fruit and vegetables. In England it is advised that this is split into at least five (80g) portions. For children, it is recommended that a handful is a portion of fruit and veg.

1 portion = 80g, or the following:



·  One banana, orange, pear or apple or similar sized fruit

·  One slice of large fruit such as melon

·  Half a large grapefruit or avocado

·  Two plums, satsumas or similar sized fruits

·  A handful of berries or grapes

·  One heaped tablespoon of dried fruit such as raisins

·  Three heaped tablespoons of fruit salad

·  150ml fruit juice (can only count as one portion no matter how much you drink)

·  Three heaped tablespoons of vegetables (raw, cooked, frozen or canned)

·  Three heaped tablespoons of pulses such as beans, peas or lentils (can only count as one portion no matter how much you eat)

·  One dessert bowl of salad

This infographic by BBC goodfood is really helpful in determining what a portion of fruit and veg looks like and which nutrients different types provide.


What does a sample day look like?


45g of muesli with 80g mixed berries and milk

150ml pure fruit juice


2 portions

Mid-morning snack

3 sticks of celery (or other favourite crudités) with a tablespoon of hummus


1 portion


Your usual sandwich with a side salad

1 portion
Mid-afternoon snack

25g mixed nuts with 80g (or a handful) of grapes


1 portion


Spaghetti bolognaise (add onion, grated courgette and tinned tomatoes to the sauce) served with 3 tablespoons of frozen veg


2-3 portions

This sample day would provide 7-8 portions of fruit and vegetables, but if you don’t feel the need for a snack between meals you would still gain your 5-a-day.

Remember to try and include a couple of portions of fruit and veg at each meal and you will reach your daily target of 5. Also remember that this is a daily average target so don’t beat yourself up if you only have 2 or 3 portions one day, maybe because you are out all day. Just jump back on the bandwagon the next day.




Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Report of a joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, Geneva, World Health Organization, 2003.


Fruit and vegetables – how to get five-a-day, BDA Food Fact Sheet,


What counts as 5-a-day?,,


5 A DAY: what counts? NHS Choices,


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