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Getting more fruit and veg in your day

Put more fruit and vegies into your day

Eating 2 serves of fruit and at least 5 serves of vegies each day is the single most important dietary change we can make to be healthier, but how do we fit them all in?

Spreading fruit and vegetables over breakfast, lunch and dinner (plus snacks if you need them) makes it easier to get our two fruit and five vegies per day.

You can try these simple meal and snack ideas that will not only help you get your "2&5" but can help your waistline as well if you’re trying to lose a few kilos.

Clever ways to enjoy more fruit and veg

Here are some healthy tips for putting fruit and vegies on your menu everyday, and they can save you time and money too:

  • chop vegetables ahead of time and store them in containers in the fridge
  • buying fruit and vegetables that are in season is cheaper and they’re generally fresher and tastier
  • look for fruit and vegies that are cheaper per kilogram or unit
  • frozen fruit and vegetables count – they’re just as nutritious as fresh fruit and veggies. Try steaming some frozen vegies in the microwave or adding to a stir-fry when you are pressed for time
  • canned fruit and vegies are also good options to have on hand. Healthier choices are canned fruit in natural juice or water, and canned vegetables with ‘no added salt’ (if this option isn’t available then look for ‘reduced salt’)
  • cooking methods are also important. Try steaming, grilling, baking or stir-frying with just a small amount of oil
  • make fruit and vegies more fun for kids. Peel it and slice it, and they are more likely to eat it. If you have time, get them involved by making fruit or vegie kebabs, or cut into interesting shapes.

Great ideas for including more vegies into your day

Breakfast

  • top toast or English muffins with cooked mushrooms, tomatoes, capscium, sweet corn or baked beans
  • chop and add any vegies in your fridge to an omelette or savoury pancake.

Snacks

  • use carrot, celery, cucumber, capsicum sticks, florets of broccoli or cauliflower instead of crackers with a low-fat dip
  • grate or dice onion, carrot, zucchini, potato and corn into a savoury muffin
  • try wholegrain or wholemeal crackers topped with tomato and reduced-fat cheese.

Lunch

  • grate beetroot and carrot to add colour to your salad or sandwich
  • fill a baked potato with coleslaw and finish off with a bit of reduced-fat cheese
  • add in-season vegies or legumes such as dried beans, peas or lentils, to soups for added flavour and texture.

For more great ideas, watch these videos:

Dinner

  • always serve dinner with cooked vegetables or a salad
  • make meat go further by adding extra vegetables in a stir-fry, curry or pasta
  • add extra vegies, dried peas, beans or lentils to recipes for:
    • meatloaves, patties and stuffings
    • stews and casserole
    • home-cooked pies
    • pasta and rice dishes
  • use capsicum, zucchini, pumpkin, eggplant, cabbage or lettuce leaves as edible containers with savoury fillings
  • when eating out, swap your side of chips for extra salad.

Great ideas for including more fruit into your day

Breakfast

  • add banana, kiwi fruit, fresh berries, or any other fresh fruit to your breakfast cereal or yoghurt
  • top toast with sliced bananas
  • add fresh or frozen fruit to pancakes or pikelets
  • blend soft fruit like bananas, strawberries or tinned fruit with skim milk, yoghurt, and ice for a delicious low fat fruit smoothie.

Snacks

  • pack fresh fruit for a quick, tasty and healthy snack at any time
  • freeze bananas, grapes, strawberries and oranges for a frozen snack
  • for a fruity ice treat, try these Tutti fruity popsicles
  • add fresh or dried fruit to muffin and cake mixtures
  • try a small handful of mixed dried fruit like mango, banana, pineapple, apricots, apple and cranberries.

Main meals

  • add fruit to savoury salads
  • try apricot chicken, or add fruit such as chopped apple, sultanas, banana to curries
  • add chopped dried fruit like apricots or apples to couscous.

Desserts

  • chop fruit into bite-sized pieces and thread onto skewers for a colourful kebab
  • cut fresh fruit into pieces and add to a parfait glass with yogurt
  • serve fresh seasonal fruit or fruit salad.

You can find more lunch and snack ideas, in the “Fresh food to fuel your day! A guide to healthy lunchboxes” booklet (PDF 832) or by visiting the recipe page on the Go For 2&5® website.

What is a serve?

One serve of fruit is 150 grams of fresh fruit

One serve of fruit equals 1 medium piece (eg apple) or 2 small pieces (eg apricots) or 1 cup chopped or canned fruit

One serve of vegies is 75 grams

One serve of vegetables equals 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or cooked legumes, 1 medium potato or 1 cup of salad vegetables

How many fruit and vegies do we need every day?

For adults, it’s at least 5 or more serves depending on your age, gender and lifestage. See how many serves you need on the infographic. On average, South Australian adults are only eating about half the daily recommended amount of vegies.

Adult serving sizes chart

But what about kids?

The table below shows the recommended number of serves for different ages.

Age
(years)
Fruit
(serves per day)
Vegetables
(serves per day)
2 to 3 1 2
4 to 7 1 to 2 2 to 4
8 to 11 1 to 2 3 to 5
12 to 18 3 to 4 4 to 9
19 + 2 or more 5 or more

 

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