There are lots of ways you can increase the number of serves of fruit and vegetables each day. But, what is a serve? What if you eat a bowl of salad? Or a carrot? Or a few spoons of peas? What makes a serve? It varies for different types of fruit and vegetables. Here’s a guide.
A standard serve of vegetables is 75 grams or:
- ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
- ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils
- 1 cup leafy or raw salad vegetables
- ½ cup sweet corn
- ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro or cassava)
- 1 medium tomato
A standard serve of fruit is 150 grams of fresh fruit or:
- 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
- 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
- 1 cup diced or canned fruit (with no added sugar)
Or only occasionally
- ½ cup (125mL) 100% fruit juice no added sugar
- 30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas)
Vegetables and fruit to limit
Fruit juices provides energy (kilojoules) but most lack dietary fibre. They are acidic and frequent consumption may contribute to an increased risk of dental erosion. Dried fruit can also stick to the teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay. For these reasons, fruit juice and dried fruit should be consumed only occasionally and in small amounts. Fruit juice should not be given to infants less than 12 months of age.
The intake of some salted, dried, fermented or pickled vegetables has been associated with an increased risk of some cancers, so intake of these foods should be limited. Also limit intake of fried vegetables such as potato and vegetable chips and crisps, which add extra kilojoules and salt.
How many serves of fruit and vegetables should I eat?
The minimum recommended intake of vegetables for adults is 5-6 serves per day.
The minimum recommended intake of fruit for adults is 2 serves per day.
The Eat for Health website has more information about the recommended serves of fruit and vegetables for adults.
The minimum recommeded intake of fruit and vegetables for toddlers, children and adolescents varies according to their age.
Go to the Eat for Health website for more information about the recommended serves of fruit and vegetables for children.
Information from Eat for Health - Australian Dietary Guidelines © Commonwealth of Australia 2013.