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Vegetables, Salad and Fruit

Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. In general, the more you can eat the better.

Three reasons why you should eat fruit and vegetables

  • They provide fibre, and many important vitamins and minerals 
  • They are generally low in calories and fat
  • They are essential for good health

What counts?

  • Fresh, local and in season fruit and vegetables are best and can be very good value
  • Eat a variety of different colours – green, yellow, orange, red and purple – to benefit from the variety of vitamins and minerals they provide
  • Frozen, tinned, dried, juices and smoothies also count
  • Limit fruit juice or smoothies to one small glass (around 150ml) a day

How much should I eat?

Aim to eat five or more portions a day. 

How much is a portion of vegetables, salad and fruit 

  • 1 medium sized fruit - apple, orange, pear or banana
  • 2 small fruits - plums, kiwis or mandarin oranges
  • Small fruits - 6 strawberries, 10 grapes or 16 raspberries 
  • 150ml unsweetened fruit juice
  • ½ cup cooked vegetables – fresh or frozen
  • 1 bowl of salad – lettuce, tomato, cucumber
  • 1 bowl of homemade vegetable soup

Four easy ways to eat five or more a day!


  • Sprinkle cereal with chopped fruit
  • Enjoy a small (150ml) glass of unsweetened fruit juice (remember only counts as one of 5-a-day)
  • Top wholemeal toast with a banana


  • Add crunch to sandwiches by adding veggies
  • Finish off lunch with a piece of fruit
  • Salads make a nice alternative to sandwiches for lunch
  • Homemade vegetable soup makes a hearty lunch


  • Add extra veggies to stews, sauces, stir-fries, casseroles, omelettes and curries – fresh, frozen, dried and tinned all count
  • Try adding fruit to yoghurt for dessert
  • Serve two or three different vegetables with dinner


  • Fruit and vegetables make a great snack
  • Vegetable sticks and a nutritious dip are very tasty – choose hummus or cream cheese

Eating out

  • Order a side of vegetables or salad
  • Add an extra ingredient, for example ask for extra mushrooms on your pizza
  • Order a smaller portion of an adult meal for children – these are more likely to contain vegetables





Healthy eating guidelines for children aged 1 to 4

Foods from this group are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Children should be offered these at every meal, and as snacks.

How much should kids eat?

  • 2 to 3 servings for 1-2 year olds
  • 4 to 5 servings for 3-4 year olds

What is a portion?

An average portion is about 40g, if it fits into half the palm of your hand is about right for children aged 1 to 4

  • 1 small fruit such as a plum, kiwi or mandarin
  • ½ medium sized fruit like an orange, an apple, a pear or a banana
  • 5 or 6 berries or grapes cut in quarters
  • ½ cup of tinned fruit in natural juice
  • 100ml pure unsweetened orange juice
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
  • 3-4 vegetable sticks like cooked carrots, cucumber or peppers
  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  • 100ml homemade or ready made vegetable soup

Adjust these servings to suit your child – some children will take a little more and others a little less

Healthy eating tips

  • Offer your child different coloured vegetables, salad and fruit
  • Limit dried food to once a week because
  • Give your child fruit and raw vegetables such as chopped cucumber as tasty, healthy snacks
  • Add chopped fruits to their breakfast cereal

Check out the vegetable shelf fact sheet

Cereals, breads, potatoes, pasta and rice  |  Vegetables, salad and fruit  |  Milk, yogurt and cheese Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts Fats, spreads and oils Food high in fat, sugar and salt

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