Two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables — each and every day.

That’s the recommended intake for healthy adults, but most Australians only eat half that.

So how hard is it, really? In an attempt to figure out how much a recommended serve of vegetables actually is and what it takes to eat five of them, we put together a three day meal plan to get an idea what this would look like for the average Joe.

Here’s some examples of what you would actually need to eat in a day to hit that magic target.

Day 1

  • Fresh strawberries and Blueberries with yoghurt and raw nuts = 1 serve
  • Ham & cheese sandwich with fresh leafy greens, beetroot and pickle = 1.5 serves
  • A pear = 1 serve
  • Kangaroo steak with steamed carrot, pumpkin and potato = 4 serves
Berries and yoghurt, ham and salad sandwich, a pear and kangaroo steak and vegetables.

Day 2

  • Smashed avocado on toast = 1 serve
  • Fried rice with peas, corn, green capsicum and fresh shallots  = 2 serves
  • Two small fresh apricots = 1 serve
  • Two small fresh nectarines = 1 serve
  • Beef fajitas using fresh red capsicum, zucchini, onion, garlic and coriander to taste  = 2 serves
Avocado on toast, fried rice, two small nectarines, two apricots and beef fajitas.

Day 3

  • Cereal with a banana = 1 serve
  • Vegetable and lentil soup using diced carrot, potato, parsnip, celery, garlic and onion with fresh parsley to taste = 2.8 serves
  • An apple = 1 serve
  • Beef kofta, rice and salad with freshly diced Lebanese cucumber, tomato, red capsicum and spring onion = 3 serves
A banana, bowl of cereal, vegetable and lentil soup, an apple and beef kofta with salad.

Even if you can’t see (or taste) the vegetables, you still reap the benefits

One useful way you can reach your recommended intake for vegetables is by adding them to dishes which don’t traditionally involve them.

If you have a favourite food, you can always add at least one kind of vegetable to your meal. For example, try grating carrot into your sauce next time you cook up a spaghetti bolognese!

But simply sneaking the same vegetable into every single meal won’t cut it. Different fruits and vegetables help protect the body in different ways, so choose a variety to meet your daily target.

Always buy fresh from Your Local Greengrocer to ensure you’re using the best tasting quality ingredients and always a mix of different coloured produce to ensure you’re reaping the nutritional benefits of all fruit and vegetables.

Top Tips!

  • If you miss getting fruit or vegetables in just one meal, it’s hard to catch up; indulge in pasta alfredo for lunch and you’ll need to go very hard on the vegetables at dinner.
  • Having a serve of fruit, avocado or grilled vegetables every day at breakfast will get you in a good position to meet your target.
  • It is worth sneaking vegetables into every meal; a cheese and tomato toastie gives you a bonus half serve over a plain cheese toastie, and you’ll barely taste the grated carrot in your bolognese or the kidney beans in your taco mince but the nutrition is still there.

Original article by ABC News

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