5 A Day

All you need to know about 5 A Day for the whole family – portion sizes, top tips and what fruit and veg counts

Why 5 A Day?

Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre and are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Eating plenty of fruit and veg helps keep is healthy and may reduce the risk of disease and some cancers.

There are lots of varieties of fruit and vegetables to choose from, so – even if you've got a picky eater on your hands – you're bound to find something tasty your child will like!

What counts as 5 A Day?

For kids, the amount they should eat depends on their size and age. As a rough guide, one portion is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand.

For adults, a portion is 80g fruit:

  • That's a large slice of fruit like melon or pineapple
  • One medium apple, banana or pear
  • Two smaller fruits like plums or satsumas
  • 7 strawberries or 20 raspberries
  • One handful of grapes

Or 30g dried fruit:

  • One heaped tablespoon of dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries or dates

Or 80g of vegetables:

  • That's 3 heaped tablespoons of peas, beans or pulses
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of veggies like sliced carrots, mixed vegetables, corn
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked green veggies like cabbage and spring greens
  • 2 spears of broccoli or 1 medium tomato
  • A dessert bowl of salad greens

Get your 5 A Day, every day!

Breakfast ideas

Add some fresh or dried fruit to cereal, porridge or low-fat, lower sugar yoghurt. Kids love sprinkling a handful of berries or chopped banana over their breakfast.

Lunch inspiration

School dinners offer a portion of veg or salad, plus a portion of fruit as well – a great way to get kids towards their 5 A Day. If your child has a packed lunch, add crunch to sandwiches with cucumber, grated carrot or tomato. and add a piece of fruit, some carrot sticks or cherry tomatoes to their lunchbox.

Dinnertime tips

Boost the veg by adding lentils, beans and peas to stews, bakes and salads, and mixing chopped carrots or red peppers into pasta sauces. Sprinkle pepper, onion, mushroom, sweetcorn or pineapple on top of a thin crust pizza, and have a salad or a couple of veggies with every main meal.

Get started with these tips!

Spuds don't count

Potatoes, and starchy foods like yams, cassava and plantain, don't count towards your 5 A Day. That's because they form the carbohydrate part of a meal, in the same way as rice, pasta or bread.

5 A Day and fruit juice

A 150ml glass of 100% unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie counts as just one of your child's 5 A Day. Stick to mealtimes, as juices are high in sugar which can cause tooth decay.

Store cupboard staples

Tinned fruit or veg won't go off as quickly and is generally cheaper. Choose fruit in it's own juice, and veg with no added salt or sugar.

Fill up the freezer

Buying frozen fruit and veg is a handy way to stock up. Just use what you need and put the rest back in the freezer!

Buy it in season

Fruit and veg is usually cheaper when it's in season. The local market can be a great place to pick up fresh produce – often at a good price.

Always add veg

Cherry tomatoes, or sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery and peppers all count towards your child's 5 A Day. Adding a small pot of reduced-fat hummus or other dips may help with getting kids to eat vegetables.