Getting your 5 a day
We all know we should eat our ‘5 a day’ but not many of us actually achieve this. Only 31% of adults and 8% of teenagers are actually achieving 5 portions, with the average intake for adults at 4.2 portions and for teenagers at 2.7 portions each day (National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 2018).
What are the benefits to eating your 5 a day?
To get the benefits of eating your 5 a day, you need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, rather than just eating 5 portions of the same type of fruit or veg. Aim for 3 different vegetables and 2 different fruits each day.
There are lots of easy ways to add extra vegetables to your meals such as grated carrots or courgettes in spaghetti Bolognese or cauliflower and green beans in your curry. Red peppers go really well in pasta sauce and you can easily mix peas or spring onions into mashed potato.
What counts as 5 a day?
Getting your 5 a day will give you a range of vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy.
Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and fruit juices/smoothies all count towards your 5 a day, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
One portion of fresh fruit or veg is around 80g, 30g if it’s dried fruit, and 150ml for juices or smoothies. Find out more information on what counts as a portion using the NHS guide.
We’re committed to making it easier for you to eat more veg. As part of this, we signed up to the Peas Please campaign in 2017 with the following commitments.
- Encourage and actively promote the use of veg in new products and seek out reformulation opportunities to increase veg
- Continue to add storage advice on veg product packs
- Continue to promote cooking sauces with 1 of your 5 a day where possible
- Inspire customers to add more veg to their meals through messaging on our product labels
- Ensure that 5 a day claims are highlighted on online, social and magazine recipes
- We will highlight at least one seasonal vegetable each month for customers (social media/magazine)
- Social media will include an appealing highlighted feature of veg every week
- On average, at least 50% of recipes used in the Co-op food magazine will carry a 5 a day claim each year
- Commit to explore and support new ways for securing access to vegetables for young families on low incomes in line with the Governments two UK schemes, including supporting the digitization of HS in England and Wales boosting the fruit & veg that families using the healthy start vouchers they receive
- Continue to make veg more affordable through Fresh 3 promotions
We clearly label which foods and drinks contain one of your 5 a day, so you can easily make the right choice. Look out for this logo on pack.
- Look out for our deals on fruit & veg products
Here’s some ideas to help you get more fruit & veg into your diet throughout the day.
- Include plenty of mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans in you weekend cooked breakfast
- 150ml of fruit juice, veg juice or a smoothie will provide you with 1 of your 5 a day. If you’re making your own smoothies, try kale and spinach with kiwi, banana and apple juice.
- Use stewed fruit, such as apples or rhubarb instead of milk in your muesli – to make your own bircher pot!
- Make your own savoury muffins using veg like sweetcorn, courgette and tomatoes
- Avocado on toast is still very popular – why not try mixing some chopped tomatoes in with the avocado?
- Sweetcorn fritters are delicious with poached eggs
- Sautéed kale with a dash of sweet chilli sauce is a great side for scrambled eggs
- Add your favourite fruit to your breakfast cereals
- Making overnight oats is an easy way to include fruit in your breakfast
- Mix your salad up with a Co-op bean salad tin
- Add salad to sandwiches
- Roast your favourite veg and add to couscous
- Make soup to use up any leftover veg
- Mash avocado on a cheese sandwich instead of using mayonnaise
- Use sweet potato for chips or wedges
- Stir frys are a great quick and easy meal
- Add plenty of veg to casseroles
- Add some sliced veg to pizza – sliced mushrooms are a great addition
- Make cauliflower ‘rice’ instead of rice
- Cook frozen veg pouches as a quick side dish, or add to soups and sauces
- On a BBQ, make veggie skewers and have corn on the cob
- Add veggies and cooked potato to upgrade an omelette to a meal
- Grate carrot into your bolognese or use courgetti instead of spaghetti
- Add kidney beans to your chilli – or go all out and make a 3 bean chilli
- Add sweet potato or sweetcorn to curries
- Add spring onions, leeks, cabbage, peas to mash. Or make your mash from veggies such as broccoli, carrot, celeriac & sweet potato
- Slice carrots, aubergines, courgettes and peppers. Brush with olive oil and cook on a griddle. Serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil for an easy, tasty Italian dish
- Mix veg into your sides – sweetcorn or kidney beans through rice and peas into mash
- Blend up mushrooms into sauces to thicken them
- Add peas to pasta sauces and use sliced aubergine or butternut squash instead of lasagne sheets
Snacks & others
- Chop up carrots, peppers, cucumber, celery and dip in hummus
- Make vegetable crisps by slicing thinly and baking in the oven
- Grate cucumber into plain yoghurt for a dip with corn chips or chopped veg
- Order a side of veg or salad in restaurants
- Add veg to your smoothies
- Make hummus using different beans, pulses and veg
- Add veg to baking – beetroot, courgette and carrot work well in cakes
We recommend eating a variety of different coloured fruit and veg every day – why not try eating the colours of the rainbow?