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'Five a day' refers to five portions of fruit and vegetables that we are recommended to eat each day, each portion should weigh about 80g, for children, it's less, but still five sorts a day.
Why do we need 5 different types of fruit and vegetables?
Because each variety has different properties and a different set of minerals and vitamins - all with particular benefits to health.
Why bother trying to eat five a day? It makes up part of a balanced and healthy diet and there's a huge variety to choose from!
What about other benefits?
- Fruit and vegetables are tasty!
- They are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
- They reduce the rate of heart disease and some cancers.
- They make up part of a balanced diet!
- They are low in fat and filling.
Who says so?
The World Health Organization recommends that we should eat about 400g of fruit and vegetables each day which equates to about 5 portions of about 80g.
What about kids? It is recommended that children also try and eat five a day. Does this sound a huge task? Well, it needn't be as there are so many foods that do count and you can work fruit and vegetables into your day quite easily.
- Introduce your child to all sorts of fruit and vegetables as early as you can! Even if it takes a few tries to get them to eat them.
- Approach fruit and vegetables as fun things! Look at their colour, texture, shape, name, size and feel! Explore new fruit together and discover the taste and properties of new fruits as an adventure! See if you can find any that are funny shapes!
- Try dried fruit as an option. There are some great dried fruit varieties: apricots, sultanas and raisins, but also pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries! These are all delicious, colourful and count towards your five a day! Ask your child which colour they like best!
- Try new shapes of old favourites! Cut carrots into sticks, rounds, chunks, dice them, don't cook them... all different ways of eating the same thing! Ask your child which is their favourite!
- Get children to help prepare fruit and vegetables. Get them to count sprouts and beans or cut soft things like cucumber or banana etc.
- Get children - even toddlers - to choose their own vegetables at the supermarket!
- Disguise vegetables in your cooking: grated carrot in bolognaise, diced root vegetables in stews.
- Keep ready prepared fruit snack in the fridge for journeys, walking to school or quick snacks.
Enjoy trying and eating your fruit and veg with your children... they will be more keen if you are keen too!