Yes, you’ve heard it all before, but the truth remains: you do have to eat fruit and vegetables if you want to stay healthy! Fruit and vegetables are packed with goodness and help prevent a variety of illnesses.
You should aim to eat at least of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit every day. A serving is about a handful and we all use our own hands – therefore a child’s serving is smaller than an adult’s.
Quick facts about fruit and vegetables and your health
Ways to include fruit and vegetables every day
- Add chopped fresh fruit or canned fruit (in juice) to your breakfast cereal or to a smoothie for breakfast.
- For a hot breakfast option, add tomatoes and mushrooms to scrambled or poached eggs.
- Fill sandwiches, rolls and pita breads with salad fillings together with meat or cheese for lunch.
- Use up leftover roast vegetables by adding to a salad for lunch e.g. with some spinach leaves, chopped tomatoes and canned lentils or chickpeas to add some protein.
- Make vegetables the main event – plan your meals around in-season vegetables and add your protein and carbs as a side.
- Hiding vegetables in meals can be a good idea for adults and children! Add grated carrot and finely chopped vegetables or diced frozen vegetables to mince dishes, casseroles and soups.
- Grated fruit and vegetables like courgettes, carrots and apples can be added to fritters and patties.
- Chop up some vegetables and keep them in a container in the fridge so they are a go-to snack.
- Stock the house with the types of fruit and veges you know you’ll eat – that way you don’t end up with a bowl of rotting apples when you really prefer bananas.
- To try something new, choose 1 or 2 pieces of a new fruit or vegetable when they’re on special and see if you like them.
- For a hearty winter meal make vegetable soup – this is a great way to up your vege intake, save time and money, and is a healthy option when you’re trying to lose weight.
- If you prefer raw veges to cooked, eat them as a snack or lightly stir-fry them for dinner.
Go easy on fruit juice and dried fruit
- Fruit juice is a high sugar drink due to the amount of fruit needed to make one glass. It is best to eat fresh fruit and drink plain water instead of drinking fruit juice.
- Dried fruit has had all the water removed so it can be very high in sugar and it can stick to teeth (like lollies) so can increase the risk of cavities. It is best to limit dried fruit.