What Does 5 Serves of Veggies Look Like?

What Does 5 Serves of Veggies Look Like?

5 serves you say? So what is a serve?

I often have clients saying to me, “oh yeah – I easily meet 5 serves of veg a day.” But often they don’t realise what one serve actually is and are a little shocked when we go through serving sizes in a little more detail. So, what better time to talk about what a serve looks like, than during National Nutrition Week.

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (www.eatforhealth.gov.au) provides guidance around what a serve is and the number of serves we need per day to reach our nutritional recommendations. I’ve summarised these guidelines for you below.

Vegetables & Legumes/Beans

A standard serve of vegetables is about 75g:

½ cup

Cooked green or orange vegetables

Broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin

1 cup

Green leafy or raw salad veggies

Rocket, lettuce, cucumber,

½ cup

Cooked, dried of canned beans, peas or lentils

½ medium

Potato or other starchy vegetables

Sweet potato, cassava or taro

1 medium

Tomato

Children and Adolescents:

2-3 years

4-8 years

9-11 years

12-13 years

14-18 years

Girls

2 ½

4 ½

5

5

5

Boys

2 ½

4 ½

5

5 ½

5 ½

Adults:

19-50 years

51-70 years 

70 years +

Women

5

5

5

Men

6

5 ½

5

Pregnancy + Breastfeeding:

18 years or under

19-50 years  

Pregnant

5

5

Breastfeeding

 

5 ½

7 ½

So, let’s make it practical. Check out a meal plan suggestion below where we specifically look at including 5 serves of vegetables across the day.

Breakfast – typically Australian’s are very poor at including veggies at breakfast. A great way would to include veggies at breakfast would be adding some ½ - 1 cup or sautéed spinach and mushrooms to an omelette or egg dish. This would give you 1- 1 ½  serves of veggies for the day! Winning!

Lunch – go heavy handed with the salad in your sandwich or wrap. Try to add 2 cups of salad veggies to your lunch. This might look like 1 cup of salad leaves and another cup of sliced cucumber, shredded carrot and beetroot. This equate to 2 serves of veggies.

Getting closer….3 serves down….2 to go.

Dinner –we are pretty good at including salad and/or veggies at dinner. Try and do the healthy plate model and make up ½ the plate with salad or veggies.  I suggest adding ½ small roasted sweet potato to your evening meal (1 serve), along with ½– 1 cup of roasted carrot and zucchini (1 serve).

And voila! There you have it….5 serves DONE + DUSTED.

--
Emma Caldwell
Accredited Practicing Dietitian
Fitwise Physiotherapy

Consulting at our Armadale and East Melbourne rooms

Source: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/The%20Guidelines/n55g_adult_brochure.pdf

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