Did you see my post last week? We tried an experiment, to see if we could eat ten portions of fruit and veg a day. (If you missed it, you can catch up here.) What did you think? If you are like most people, me included, ten portions might have sounded like a totally impossible number. Most people usually eat about 2 or 3 portions, and if that’s you then don’t even think about aiming for ten. Not yet anyway.
Its almost always better to eat more fruit and veg, no matter what your starting point is, and one or two extra portions is a realistic target. When those have become a habit you can think about adding in another one or two. Trying to do more than that is usually too much, it’s hard work and pretty soon you get overwhelmed and give up. Instead the trick is to build new habits, one extra portion at a time. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
If you don’t eat any fruit or veg now
Try to include a vegetable with your evening meal everyday, you could buy frozen veg, ready prepared fresh vegetables or have salad to make it easier.
Aim to have some fruit after lunch each day, try a few different things like mango or kiwi and see which ones you enjoy.
If you already eat 2 or 3 portions
Add in some fruit at breakfast – mashed banana on toast, blueberries on cereal or a glass of juice would all count.
Aim for two portions of veg with your evening meal (remember a portion is less than you might think – about 80g for an adult, or 1 tbs for a one year old.)
Include a vegetable as well as fruit with lunch – cherry tomatoes, carrot and cucumber sticks, and salad are all easy to pack up and take with you if you need to be out and about.
If you already eat 5 or more portions
Instead of one portion of fruit, make fruit salads to get a range of different things. You can even buy frozen mixtures to make it easier, but beware that they only count as one portion if you make them into smoothies.
Keep fruit and veg handy, ready prepared to grab as a quick and easy snack.
Add vegetables to every dish – grated carrot in burgers, chopped courgette, pepper and spinach in bolognaise sauce or peas and sweetcorn in a pasta bake. Then serve another two portions with the meal.