Inclusion of fruit and vegetables an essential in children’s diet

Not only are they colourful and add flavour and texture to our diet, fruit and vegetables are also packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre to help keep us healthy.

As recommended by safefood, Children aged over five years need five portions each day. Younger children can eat fruits and vegetables as often but in smaller amounts. If you or your children don’t eat much fruit or veg at the moment, it’s okay to start slowly and increase from one portion this week to two next week and so on. Including some fruit and vegetables at every meal, as well as snacks, helps them reach that five-a-day goal.

What counts towards your five-a-day?

Fresh, frozen, tinned and dried all count. A small glass (150ml ) of fruit juice or smoothie a day counts as one (and no more ) of your five-a-day. Potatoes are counted as a starchy food and not towards your 5-a-day.

How much is a portion?

Fruit and vegetables come in all different shapes and sizes so it can be difficult to know what a portion is. You can find out everything you need to know here.

•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 five-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

A note on juices and smoothies

Fruit juices and smoothies are very popular. One small glass (150ml ) can count towards one of your 5-a-day. If you have more than one glass each day it will still only count as one serving of fruit and vegetables a day. The reason for this is that when fruit or vegetables are juiced/pureed they no longer have the same nutrition content as whole fruit or vegetables. The sugar is also released from the whole fruit or vegetable when it’s mashed/pureed.

Some tips when choosing juices and smoothies

Drink no more than one small glass (150ml ) fruit juice or smoothie each day

Choose 100 percent pure unsweetened fruit juices, i.e., contains no added sugar

Fruit juice is acidic and can be damaging to teeth, so it’s better to drink them with main meals only or through a straw

It is best to dilute juice - one part juice to ten parts water – when giving to children

Be wary of ‘juice drinks’, they can contain very little juice and quite a lot of sugar

Always check the label so that you know what you are buying

Choose smoothies made from fresh, frozen or tinned (in its own juice ) fruit

Look for smoothies with no added sugar, honey or syrup


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