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Vegetables and fruit

All vegetables and fruit - fresh, frozen, canned (in natural juice), dried and juiced - are part of this food group.

Vegetables and fruit are power-packed foods - they are full of valuable nutrients which have lots of health benefits, including:

  • Fruits give us plenty of  fibre, vitamins, minerals , including folate, potassium, vitamins A & C and phytochemicals (which give the colour)
  • A healthy intake of fruit and vegetables helps to protect against major illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
  • Most fruit and vegetables are low in energy (kilojoules/calories) and are filling, which may help us in maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a range of coloured fruits and vegetables provides antioxidants, which work together to protect our bodies

How much do we need to eat?

Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day. 

Typical serving sizes are listed below, but the amount which fits into the palm of your hand is a handy measure for fruit, e.g. 2 apricots for an adult, 1 for a small child.

Fruit serving sizes

  • 1 apple, pear, orange
  • 2 small apricots or plums
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit salad
  • 1/2 cup stewed, canned or frozen fruit
  • 1 tablespoon dried fruit*

* Dried fruit contains far more sugar than fresh fruit - have no more than one serving per day.

Vegetable serving sizes

  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup salad
  • 1 medium potato or kūmara

Tips for eating more fruit and vegetables

  • Take fruit to work or school for a convenient and healthy snack
  • Eat seasonally - the fruit and vegetables are cheapest and taste the best when they are in season (visit 5+ A Day's What's Available page  for a list of produce in season now)
  • Cook vegetables as quickly as possible as the vitamins they contain are destroyed by cooking. Steaming or microwaving is quicker than boiling and will help preserve the vitamins
  • Make a smoothie by blending fruit and veg with yoghurt and milk
  • Try to incorporate fruit or vegetables into every meal:
    • top breakfast cereal with fruit - fresh, canned, dried
    • add some tomato, cucumber, grated carrot or lettuce to a sandwich
    • extra vegetables can make a tasty addition to casseroles and stews
    • capsicum, mushrooms, spinach or rocket add flavour and colour on top of a pizza
    • aim to cover half your dinner plate with vegetables or salad - add salad to a meal if it doesn’t contain vegetables.

Click the links to read the following resources 25 easy ways to get more fruit & 25 easy ways to get more veges

For more information about fruit and vegetables, visit www.5aday.co.nz and www.vegetables.co.nz 

Last modified: 
14/01/22