Fruit and vegetables are a great source of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre that will help keep you healthy and help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
You can use your Healthy Start vouchers to buy plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg. And eating them doesn’t have to be a chore – for example, a big green salad, a fruit salad, mixed veg on the side, lots of veg with a roast meal, or a homemade smoothie can all help you get to your recommended five portions a day.
How to get your five a day
To get the most benefit from your five portions, eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables don’t have to be fresh to count as a portion. Nor do they have to be eaten on their own – they can also count if they’re part of a meal or dish.
One adult portion is 80g.
Here’s a guide to what makes a portion:
- one medium piece of fruit, such as an apple, banana or orange
- one medium tomato
- one small glass (150ml) of pure fruit or vegetable juice
- one heaped tablespoon of raisins, currants or sultanas
- two medium broccoli florets
- three heaped tablespoons of fresh, tinned or frozen veg, such as carrots, sweetcorn or peas.
Remember: certain foods, such as beans/pulses and fruit juice, only count as one portion no matter how much of them you eat or drink in a day.
Tips to get the most from your Healthy Start fruit and veg
- Buy fruit and veg in season – they can be cheaper and tastier than those out of season.
- Loose fruit and veg can be much cheaper than pre-packaged versions.
- Some market stalls accept Healthy Start vouchers and they can have great deals on fruit and veg.
- If you have fresh fruit and veg that need to be used up, try making a smoothie or a soup or adding the extra veg to a casserole or curry.
- Frozen fruit and veg can be cheap when fresh fruit and veg are out of season – you can also use just the amount you need and store the rest in the freezer for next time.
What fruit and veg should my baby eat?
As children move on to solids and begin eating a wider range of foods, it’s important to include some fruit and vegetables in their meals to give their growing bodies the nutrients they need.
For more information:
5 A DAY (England)
Enjoy Healthy Eating (Northern Ireland)