5 A Day

Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and an important part of a balanced diet for kids and adults.

Eating plenty of fruit and veg helps keep us healthy, and may reduce the risk of disease and some cancers.

Almost every type of fresh, frozen, tinned and dried fruit and veg you can think of counts towards your 5 A Day. So do fruit or vegetables in ready-meals or shop-bought sauces. However always check the packaging and watch out for high amounts of salt, fat and sugar – or use the NHS food scanner app to quickly find healthier swaps!

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Counts as 5 A Day

Almost all fruits and vegetables count towards your 5 A Day!

You may be surprised to learn that onions, garlic, peas, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, lentils, chickpeas, olives, tinned fruit, dried fruit and ready-made salads, soups and sauces also count towards your 5 A Day!

Fruit and vegetables found within other foods and ready-made products, although they may only be in small amounts, still count towards your 5 A Day.

For example, the chickpeas in hummus and falafel, the fruit in fruit yoghurts, the lentils in dhal, and the vegetables in guacamole and salsa all contribute.

However, these foods may be high in fat, salt and sugar so always check the label – or use the NHS Food Scanner app to easily find healthier options.

Doesn’t count as 5 A Day

Potatoes do not count towards your 5 A Day!

Potatoes and other starchy foods like yams, cassava and plantain are usually eaten as the carbohydrate part of a meal, like rice, pasta or bread are. They are a great source of fibre and nutrients so are still an important part of a balanced diet – they just do not count towards your 5 A Day.

Sweet potatoes, parsnips, swedes and turnips all do count though!

5 A Day – Portion Sizes

Portions for adults

An adult portion of fresh, frozen or tinned fruit or vegetables is 80g. For dried fruit, a portion is 30g.

Portions for kids

Kids should also eat 5 different types of fruit or veg each day, but a portion depends on their size and age.

As a rough guide, 1 portion of fruit or veg for a child is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand.

Juice and smoothies

For unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies, 150ml is a maximum of 1 portion of your 5 A Day.

That means juice and smoothies only count once towards your 5 A Day, no matter how much you have or how many different types of fruit or vegetables go into them.

So stick to 1 small glass (150ml) a day and keep juice or smoothies to mealtimes, as blending makes it higher in sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

Hi 5!

A total of 5 portions of fruit and veg combined is the minimum number of servings to aim for.

You do not need to eat 5 portions of fruit and 5 portions of veg to get your 5 A Day – although the more the better!

Mix and match

You can also combine smaller amounts of fruit and veg to make up 1 portion.

For example, a large handful of salad in a sandwich, plus 4 cherry tomatoes and 4 slices of cucumber would count as 1 portion of your 5 A Day.

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