Are you getting your daily dose of fruit and veg? Serving sizes explained.
If you’ve ever seen one of the 2 & 5 advertising campaigns, you will be aware that this is the optimum goal for fruit and vegetable consumption. If you haven’t seen it, essentially, 2 & 5 is a recommendation that all adults consume 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables daily. By eating a range fruit and vegetables you’ll be consuming many different nutrients and minerals needed for your body to function well, while reducing your risk of disease.
So, are we meeting the recommendation?
Research says no, with the most recent National Health Survey (2018) revealing just over half of Australians are reaching the fruit recommendation, 7.5% of Australians are reaching the vegetable intake and only 5% of us are eating both.
That statistic is pretty shocking really, but it is not surprising as it can be confusing as to what we should be eating and what a serve looks like. Check out the different serves below:
1 serve of vegetables is about 75g (100–350kJ) or:
½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
½ cup sweet corn
½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro or cassava)
1 medium tomato
1 serve of fruit is about 150g (350kJ) or:
1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
Does fruit juice or dried count? Yes.. and no.. Although they are better than candy and soft drink, the sugar content can still be pretty high, while the fibre count is low, so they should be eaten occasionally rather than trying to make up your fruit count.
1 serve would be about:
125ml (½ cup) fruit juice (no added sugar)
30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas)
When you break the serves down like that, it can actually be easy to start to incorporate extra vegetables and fruit into your day.
In my next post, I will write up some tips on getting extra fruit and veg into your day but for now, I will leave you with one, which is to ‘start the day with one serve of fruit or veg’ and that way you are starting your day ahead.
Here is a porridge recipe that starts you off with 1 serve of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit.
Have a lovely week!