5 A Day Portion Sizes

NHS

Everyone should have at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. An adult portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g. The guide below will give you an indication of typical portion sizes for adults.

Children should also eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. The amount of food a child needs varies with age, body size and levels of phytsical activity. As a rough guide, 1 portion is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand.

5 A Day fruit portions

Small-sized fresh fruit

A portion is 2 or more small fruit – for example, 2 plums, 2 satsumas, 2 kiwi fruit, 3 apricots, 6 lychees, 7 strawberries or 14 cherries.

Medium-sized fresh fruit

A portion is 1 piece of fruit, such as 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or nectarine.

Large fresh fruit

A portion is half a grapefruit, 1 slice of papaya, 1 slice of melon (5cm slice), 1 large slice of pineapple or 2 slices of mango (5cm slices).

Dried fruit

A portion of dried fruit is around 30g. This is about 1 heaped tablespoon of raisins, currants or sultanas, 1 tablespoon of mixed fruit, 2 figs, 3 prunes or 1 handful of dried banana chips.

But dried fruit can be high in sugar and can be bad for your teeth. Try to swap dried fruit for fresh fruit, especially between meals.

To reduce the risk of tooth decay, dried fruit is best enjoyed as part of a meal – as dessert, for example, not as a between meal snack.

Tinned or canned fruit

A portion is roughly the same quantity of fruit that you would eat for a fresh portion, such as 2 pear or peach halves, 6 apricot halves or 8 segments of tinned grapefruit. Choose fruit canned in natural juice, rather than syrup.

5 A Day vegetable portions

Green vegetables

A portion is 2 broccoli spears or 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked kale, spinach, spring greens or green beans.

Cooked vegetables

A portion is 3 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as carrots, peas or sweetcorn, or 8 cauliflower florets.

Salad vegetables

A portion is 1.5 full-length celery sticks, a 5cm piece of cucumber, 1 medium tomato or 7 cherry tomatoes.

Tinned and frozen vegetables

Roughly the same quantity as you would eat for a fresh portion. For example, 3 heaped tablespoons of tinned or frozen carrots, peas or sweetcorn count as 1 portion each. For tinned, choose those canned in water with no added salt or sugar.

Pulses and beans

A portion is 3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas. Remember, however much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of 1 portion a day.

Potatoes

Potatoes don't count towards your 5 A Day. This is the same for yams, cassava and plantain, too. They're classified nutritionally as a starchy food, because when eaten as part of a meal they're usually used in place of other sources of starch, such as bread, rice or pasta.

Although they don't count towards your 5 A Day, potatoes do play an important role in your diet as a starchy food.

5 A Day in juices and smoothies

Unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies can only ever count as a maximum of 1 portion of your 5 A Day. For example, if you have 2 glasses of fruit juice and a smoothie in 1 day, that still only counts as 1 portion.

Smoothies include any drink made up of any combination of fruit or vegetable juice, purée, or all the edible pulped fruit or vegetable. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies shouldn't be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass.

For example, if you have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in 1 day, you'll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.

When fruit is blended or juiced, it releases the sugars. This increases the risk of tooth decay, so it's best to drink fruit juice or smoothies at mealtimes. Whole fruits are less likely to cause tooth decay because the sugars are contained within the structure of the fruit.

5 A Day and ready-made foods

Fruit and vegetables contained in shop-bought ready-made foods can also count toward your 5 A Day. Always read the label. Some ready-made foods contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar, so only have them occasionally or in small amounts as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Useful resources

Fat is an essential nutrient in our diet but may often be thought about negatively and...
We will enrich your events with food demos, health and nutrition check-ups, competitions...
Vital Nutrition specialises in developing bespoke, tailor made nutritional programmes to...
Certified by the AfN. This course is for those with an interest in nutrition and would be...
Cancer Focus NI can provide a wide range of presentations to meet the needs of your...
This course is for midwives and aims to explain the science behind the different types of...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
Do you want to eat in a way that helps you reach your ideal weight, gives you boundless...
This course will provide you with the basic nutrition knowledge and practical tools...
Taste Buds is a resource that helps children aged 8 to 11 enjoy learning about the...
The Quick Fit programme offers positive steps to improve your health through diet and...
This course is aimed at pharmacists and aims to explain the science behind the different...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course will provide you with the basic knowledge to help you adopt a healthier and...
Your Work Ready dietitian will visit your organisation. They will ask what you want, see...
Are you often too tired to cook? Not organised enough to have breakfast and lunch sorted...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course would be of particular use to health professionals and students wanting to...
We will enrich your events with food demos, health and nutrition check-ups, competitions...
Here at Vital Nutrition, we work with schools all over Northern Ireland to help inspire...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
Vital Nutrition offers a complete range of corporate health and workplace wellbeing...
This course provides caterers, food service providers and catering students with the...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
MediaWise is a FREE media literacy resource, designed by primary school teachers and...
Certified by the AfN. This course is for those who already have a basic knowledge of...
Fun, fast food for less. This is a practical six-week nutrition programme aimed at...
This course is aimed at practice nurses and aims to explain the science behind the...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course is about eating well and keeping healthy if you’re staying at home more since...
Your dietitian will look at any food and drink provision for staff including: canteen or...
Cancer Focus NI, Keeping Well vans are mobile drop-in units which bring health checks,...
Vital Nutrition’s Healthy Shift Workers workshop provides employees with a practical plan...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course will provide you with some information about sport and exercise nutrition –...
BDA will enrich your events with food demos, health and nutrition check-ups, competitions...
Vital Nutrition’s Jane McClenaghan is known for her down-to-earth, practical approach to...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
Food diary, exercise tracker and diet coach
Nutrition scanner
Develop healthier eating habits, be more active, and get on track to start losing weight...
Our free Easy Meals app is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You’ll...
Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you are a healthy weight. Or, use it to check your child's BMI centile.