5 A DAY portion sizes

One adult portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g.

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The guide below will give you an indication of typical portion sizes for adults.

Children should also eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. The amount of food a child needs varies with age, body size and levels of physical activity. As a rough guide, one portion is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand. 

5 A DAY fruit portions

Small-sized fresh fruit

One portion is two or more small fruit, for example two plums, two satsumas, two kiwi fruit, three apricots, six lychees, seven strawberries or 14 cherries.

Medium-sized fresh fruit

One portion is one piece of fruit, such as one apple, banana, pear, orange or nectarine.

Large fresh fruit

One portion is half a grapefruit, one slice of papaya, one slice of melon (5cm slice), one large slice of pineapple or two slices of mango (5cm slices).

Dried fruit

A portion of dried fruit is around 30g. This is about one heaped tablespoon of raisins, currants or sultanas, one tablespoon of mixed fruit, two figs, three prunes or one handful of dried banana chips.

Tinned fruit in natural juice

One portion is roughly the same quantity of fruit that you would eat for a fresh portion, such as two pear or peach halves, six apricot halves or eight segments of tinned grapefruit.

5 A DAY vegetable portions

Green vegetables

Two broccoli spears or four heaped tablespoons of cooked kale, spinach, spring greens or green beans count as one portion.

Cooked vegetables

Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as carrots, peas or sweetcorn, or eight cauliflower florets count as one portion.

Salad vegetables

Three sticks of celery, a 5cm piece of cucumber, one medium tomato or seven cherry tomatoes count as one portion.

Tinned and frozen vegetables

Roughly the same quantity as you would eat for a fresh portion. For example, three heaped tablespoons of tinned or frozen carrots, peas or sweetcorn count as one portion each. Choose those canned in water, with no added salt or sugar.

Pulses and beans

Three heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas count as one portion each. Remember, however much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of one portion a day.

Potatoes

Potatoes don't count towards your 5 A DAY. This is the same for yams, cassava and plantain too. They are classified nutritionally as a starchy food, because when eaten as part of a meal they are usually used in place of other sources of starch, such as bread, rice or pasta. Although they don't count towards your 5 A DAY, potatoes do play an important role in your diet as a starchy food. You can learn more in 5 A DAY: what counts?

5 A DAY in juices and smoothies

One 150ml glass of unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice can count as a portion. But only one glass counts, so further glasses of juice don't count towards your total 5 A DAY portions.

A smoothie containing all the edible pulped fruit or vegetable may count as more than one 5 A DAY portion, but this depends on the quantity of fruits or vegetables or juice used, as well as how the smoothie has been made.

For example, for a single smoothie to qualify as being two portions, it must contain either:

  • at least 80g of one variety of whole fruit and/or vegetable and at least 150ml of a different variety of 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice, or
  • at least 80g of one variety of whole fruit and/or vegetable and at least 80g of another variety of whole fruit and/or vegetable

Sugars are released from fruit when it's juiced or blended, and these sugars can cause damage to teeth. Whole fruits are less likely to cause tooth decay because the sugars are contained within the structure of the fruit.

5 A DAY and ready-made foods

Fruit and vegetables contained in shop-bought ready-made foods can also count toward your 5 A DAY.

Always read the label. Some ready-made foods contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar, so only have them occasionally or in small amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet. You can find out more in Food labels.

Got a question about 5 A DAY?

If you have a question that isn't answered in our 5 A DAY FAQs, please email the 5 A DAY team at Public Health England: phe.enquiries@phe.gov.uk.

Page last reviewed: 12/12/2013

Next review due: 12/12/2015

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The 5 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

NICKMAC said on 22 July 2014

I am a fruit nut and eat so much of it. In my fridge I always have a large bowl of chopped up fruit which includes melons, apple, orange, grapes, strawberries, plums, kiwi and any other fresh fruits I can lay my hands on. Throughout the day I dip into it and eat about four bowls per day. This, combined with fresh fish, rice, lean meat and steamed veg should do me. I can't abide sugar in my tea and use semi-skimmed milk. Is this OK?

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igbar said on 17 June 2014

Jane451 – there are two reasons why fruit juice is not counted as more than 1 of your 5 a day, regardless of how much of it / the variety of fruit you consume in that way. 1) The natural fibre in unprocessed fruit is an important part of its health benefits. Fruit juice gives you the vitamins, but removes the digestive and anti-cancer benefits which you get through eating the full fruit. This is the main reason why they are not counted as more than 1 of your 5 a day – you are not getting the full benefits of the fruit.
2) Breaking down the structure of the fruit (e.g. when making juices and smoothies) means that when they are consumed, the naturally occurring sugars are quickly absorbed, causing a spike in blood sugar (just as drinking other high-sugar drinks would e.g. Coke). When the fruit is eaten unprocessed, the sugars are released slowly as the fruit is digested, and so avoids this spike. There is a study which shows that of people who eat the same quantity/variety of fruit daily are less likely to develop diabetes later in life than those who drink it in the form of smoothies and juices – which is believed to be down to the differences in the effect on blood sugar. A quick google should come up with many more studies which also show this and why fruit juices / smoothies are not as good for you as eating unprocessed fruit.
Hope that’s useful.

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ma01kcm said on 21 June 2012

It DOES say 80g of fruit or veg at the very top of the article, orielwen!! And Jane451, I think you cannot say I had 14 strawberries not 7 so therefore that is 2 portions. It has to be different fruits and veg. Strawberries, avocado, papaya and apple juice would be 4 I think.

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orielwen said on 20 June 2012

I believe the reasoning is that the pureeing breaks down the fibre in the fruit so it's less use to you.

I also suspect it's a ruse to ensure that you get at least some of your portions from vegetables, rather than all from fruit which would limit your intake of some vitamins as well as increasing your sugar intake.

By the way, this article doesn't explicitly say this, but the official definition of a 'portion' is 80g (or 150ml of juice). I wish it did say that, because it's a lot clearer than going through the list and trying to figure out if your fruit is 'small' or 'medium'. It would be easy to mistake the only stated weight (30g for dried fruit) for the weight for any portion, and thus underestimate the amount of fruit and vegetables you should be eating.

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Jane451 said on 19 June 2012

I, like many, many others, would like to know the scientific research and reasoning behing your (i.e. the NHS) claims that fruit smoothies can only count as 2 of 5 a day fruit portions. The 'sugar being bad for teeth' thing may be true, but it is not a valid scientific argument why smoothies can't count for more portions. If I put 200g of strawberries, an avocado, a papaya, and a glass of apple juice in a blender, the resulting smoothie will contain about 6 portions of fruit. Please explain to me why, if I drink it all, I should not count it as such.

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