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|
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|
|19-50 years||51-70 years||70 years +|
Pregnancy + Breastfeeding:
|18 years or under||19-50 years|
|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.
Accredited Practicing Dietitian
Consulting at our Armadale and East Melbourne rooms