5 A DAY – are you getting yours?

Does dried fruit count? What about juice? We solve your 5 A DAY dilemmas

Is eating fruit and veg really that important?

Yes! Vegetables and fruit are vital for your health. They contain fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – some of which can’t be found in any other type of food. Not only that, many fruit and vegetables are also low in calories, meaning they can help you stay a healthy weight.

Does fruit juice count as one of my 5 A DAY?

A small (150ml) glass of fruit juice does count as one of your 5 A DAY. However, because juiced fruit has a higher concentration of sugar and less fibre, juice only counts as one portion even if you drink two or more glasses a day. Choose unsweetened versions or make your own at home with added vegetables!

Can I include baked beans as well?

Beans and pulses, such as chickpeas, count as one of your 5 A DAY, but, like fruit juice, they only count as one portion however much you eat – beans and pulses don’t contain as many vitamins and minerals as other varieties of fruit and vegetables, but they are great sources of fibre and protein.

What about canned and frozen veg and fruit?

Stocking up on canned and frozen veg is a cheap and easy way of getting your 5 A DAY. As well as family favourites like peas and sweetcorn, many other vegetables are readily available canned or frozen, including green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and mushrooms. Choose those canned in water, without added salt or sugar.

Is dried fruit a good snack?

Dried fruit such as raisins, apricots, prunes and cranberries can help you reach your five-a-day target. These fruits are good snack options but beware of the high sugar content of dried fruit!

Do sweet potatoes count?

While sweet potatoes can be part of your 5 A DAY, don’t forget that white potatoes, yams, plantain and cassava don’t count because they contain a lot of starch – they should be eaten as the carbohydrate part of your diet instead. However, don’t think that spuds can’t form part of a healthy diet – they’re nutritious, low in fat, and rich in vitamins C and B6.

Is it OK to eat five portions of vegetables and no fruit – or vice versa?

Yes – sometimes! However, as fruit and vegetables contain different vitamins and minerals, it’s good to mix them up as much as possible. Aim for a range of colours and don’t be afraid to try new tastes – how about green kale, yellow peppers, orange apricots, purple carrots or a handful of blueberries?

Should you aim to eat more than 5 A DAY?

The government actually recommends eating AT LEAST five portions of fruit or veg a day, so aiming for more is a good idea. For cancer prevention, we recommend reshaping your plate, and making plant foods the base of each meal. In fact, 5 A DAY is a fairly modest recommendation – it’s seven-a-day in Australia and even higher in Canada: 7–8 for women and 7–10 for men!

Some days I don’t eat even one portion of fruit or veg. How can I eat more?

If eating five portions a day seems like a big challenge, then start slowly, and try to add one at a time. If you can make eating fruit and vegetables part of your routine (how about a breakfast banana or blueberries for a snack?) you may be surprised at how quickly and easily you can eat more.

Browse 5 A DAY resources on our website

Eat Move Learn

Our resources for families include recipes to cook with kids, fun activities and amazing facts about food.

Get Fruity for Team Can Prevent!

Get Fruity! is a year-round fundraising and awareness campaign which gets children to eat well from an early age, helping them reduce their risk of cancer later in life.