Eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetable a day is considered part of a healthy diet. We all know that besides providing vitamins, minerals, and fiber, most vegetable and fruits are low calorie, and more importantly, disease preventing. But I felt overwhelmed with all the confusing and contradictory information available, and wanted something simple and practical to follow at home everyday. Here’s what I found, and I hope the information below helps.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) – a US federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services – website offers some excellent and clear guidelines for healthy diet and lifestyle.
Based on a 2000 calorie diet, 1 serving is any one of the following:
- 1 cup raw vegetables / salad greens
- 1/2 cup berries / sliced fruit
- 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
- 4-6 oz juice
- 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce / salsa
- medium (tennis ball size) fruit
- 1/4 cup dry fruit
Use the Fruit & Vegetable Calculator to figure out how many servings your body needs per day based on gender, age, and level of physical activity.
Handy picture chart of what makes 1 cup of fruit / vegetable.
Healthy Kids Ideas Exchange had a fantastic, easy to read chart that grouped fruits & veggies by color. I have added portion sizes to each for an easy guide chart. (I am no expert in this area and am learning as I go; if you see anything
I also printed several copies of this chart and taped it to my kitchen board. It’s an easy and good visual reminder to eat better (and of how much my diet is lacking!!). My 8-year old helps track and color what we eat each day, and I think it’s good to make kids aware of healthy eating habits.