Q: "I have a question regarding 5+ a day. I would like you to give some guidelines on how much that actually is! How much is a serving? I usually eat something like a banana with my breakfast, and then a couple of other fruits like apple, clementine, passion fruit or something throughout the day. Since I am a vegetarian I usually eat quite a lot of veggies as well."
A: Paula Dudley, general manager of 5+A Day, tells us the way they describe a serving to the children when they are talking about 5+ a day in schools:
"It's about a handful" or half a cup. They have found that people, especially children, find this easy to understand. It is also why they have the hand in the logo: five fingers to count the servings and the hand to measure the serving.
Dietitian Sarah Ley writes:
"I find the best way to describe serves of fruit and vegetables is also to imagine them held in your own hand. A serve is the amount that fits into the palm of the hand with fingers curled around the food. This means a child's serve would be small, a woman's serve would be larger and a man's serve the largest.
Examples would be a small apple for a child or a large apple for an adult. One serve of mandarins would be two small mandarins for a child or three small mandarins for an adult. The same quantities apply for drained canned, frozen or cooked fruit or vegetables, frozen or cooked fruits and vegetables. If the fruit or vegetables are very watery such as watermelon, strawberries or various leafy vegetables such as lettuce or silver beet, then a serve can be larger than a handful if people feel like eating more.
For dried fruit or vegetables, a good guide is the amount that fits comfortably into half the palm of your hand. Once the fruit or vegetables are rehydrated they will likely be a handful for that person. For fruit and vegetable juices I recommend one child's serve is approximately 1/2 small glass, whilst an adult serve is one small 150ml glass."