Fruit and veg portion sizes

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A selection of raw fruit and vegetables

It isn't always easy knowing what counts as a portion of fruit and veggies, and now with the advice that we should be eating seven portions of them it's probably best to learn what counts as a serving. We've put together this simple guide to make staying healthy easy.

Fruit like apples and bananas are the easy ones, one piece equals one portion, it's the vegetables and smaller fruits where we get a little lost sometimes. For instance, did you know you actually need to eat two satsumas, plums or kiwi fruits to make it up to a full portion? For veggies and pulses, tablespoons and small handfuls are good measuring guides, three tablespoons of cooked vegetables or beans  is roughly what you need for example.


To get you started here are some good basic measurements which count as a portion each:



Broccoli portion size



With things like apples and bananas, the rule is pretty straightforward - one apple equals one portion. But with little bits of veg such as broccoli, it's not quite so simple. Here you can see that two spears of broccoli is all you need to tick off one of your five a day. Pretty easy, so get cooking.


Try broccoli in these recipes: 




Mushroom portion size



Mushrooms are great because they can be used in such a variety of dishes but you might not be eating quite enough for them to count as one of those important five.

You may think that by chucking a couple in a sandwich or a stir-fry you're getting all you need, but you actually have to eat a whopping 14 button mushrooms, or three handfuls of sliced mushrooms for them to count as one portion. Don't let that put you off though, we've got lots of delicious mushroom recipes for you to make at home.


Try mushrooms in these recipes:  




Carrots portion size 



The general rule for getting one portion of vegetables is to measure out three heaped tablespoons. This is just a rough guideline but for sliced carrots, it's spot on which makes things nice and easy.


Try carrots in these recipes:  




Sprouts portion size



Sprouts are a great, easy-to-cook vegetable to bump up your five-a-day count. The only problem is you've got to eat eight of them for them to count as just one portion!


Try sprouts in these recipes:  




Spinach portion size



If you're cooking with spinach, because of how much it wilts when heated, you only need two heaped tablespoons to make up one portion, as opposed to the standard three. If you're not sure of how best to fit it into your diet, or how to disguise it enough so that your kids will eat it, we've got a few ideas that may help.


Try spinach in these recipes:  




Peas portion size



Peas are another family favourite because they're so quick to cook. For these, it's back to the three heaped tablespoon rule - simple to dish out on the side of your kids' dinner plates as one easy portion. But if you're feeling more adventurous, we've got some fancier ways to cook your pea.


Try peas in these recipes: 




Cucumber portion size 



Great in salads and sandwiches, you need to eat half a cucumber a day to get the benefits. It's quite doable really, if you have a little bit for lunch and then some in a side salad for dinner. But if you need more inspiration, here's some ideas of how to squeeze half a cucumber into your meals:


 Try cucumber in these recipes: 




Blueberries portion size



Blueberries are really good for you, with them even being named as a superfood. Four heaped tablespoons, or three handfuls if you can't balance them on a spoon, is enough to make up one portion. 


Try blueberries in these recipes: 




Grapes portion size



Blueberries are really good for you, with them even being named as a superfood. Four heaped tablespoons, or three handfuls if you can't balance them on a spoon, is enough to make up one portion.


Try grapes in these recipes: 




Pomegranate portion size



Pomegranates are another superfood so they're a great one to fit into your diet. For it to count as one portion, you need to eat a cupful or a generous handful - something that should be quite easy as they're so moreish!


Try pomegranate in these recipes: 




Pineapple portion size



Pineapple is another one which can be confusing when it comes to portion size. The whole fruit rule that applies to bananas and apples thankfully isn't the same here because munching your way through a whole pineapple would take quite some time. The good news is that you can get a portion of fruit in just one slice of pineapple so a whole fruit will go a long way to bumping up your family's daily five-a-day count.


Try pineapple in these recipes: 



 More fruit and veg portion sizes 


  •     1 x apple, banana, pear, orange, nectarine
  •     2 x plums, satsumas, kiwi fruit
  •     3 x apricots
  •     7 x strawberries
  •     14 x cherries
  •     5cm slice melon, pineapple
  •     4 x heaped tbsp cooked kale, spring greens, green beans
  •     3 x sticks celery
  •     1 x medium tomato
  •     7 x cherry tomatoes


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