What does a serving of fruit or vegetables actually look like?

Jacqueline Alwill

Brown Paper Nutrition

This statistic is pretty alarming. 5% just 5% of Australian adults achieving the minimum recommendation for fruits and vegetables in a day! (Source: Australian Bureau Statistics, 2017-2018)

Whilst it’s safe to assume discretionary foods are replacing the humble fruit and veg, I think the most important aspect of this stat is looking at how we can (re)educate people about what these serves of fruit and veg are and how easily you can up your fruit and veg intake to meet the minimum recommendation.

As a reminder and let’s start with VEG… a serve of veg (around 75g) includes:

+ 1 cup green leafy vegetables

+ 1/2 cup cooked green or orange veggies including broccoli, carrots, spinach, zucchini, pumpkin

+ 1/2 cup cooked legumes  such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans

+ 1 medium tomato (not cherry tomato – proper truss or regular tomato)


Our fruit serves x2 per day are fairly easily achieved with:

+ 1 medium apple, banana, pear, orange, peach

+ 1 small mango when they’re in season which is sooooon!

+ 2 kiwi, apricots, plums

+ 2-3 slices or wedges of watermelon

+ 1/2 small papaya

+ 1 cup diced fresh fruit

+ Some dietary guidelines incorporate juice into this mix, I personally don’t, if you’re going to consume fruit enjoy the fibre with it.

So what does this look like in a day on a plate?

Breakfast: 2 cups mixed leafy green sauteed with eggs or 1/2 cup sauteed legumes (2 serves done if just leafy and 3 if legumes included!)

Snack: Apple with some cottage cheese or nut butter (1 serve)

Lunch: Mashed pumpkin or a roast pumpkin wedge topped with 1 tomato, your choice of protein and some spices (2 serves)

Snack: Carrot and cucumber (1 cup) with hummus (1 serve)

Dinner : Your choice of protein with 1 cup mixed cooked green orange veg (2 serves)

Dessert if you need it: Banana with a big dollop of greek yoghurt and some cinnamon sprinkled


That’s a day of veggie serves in SURPLUS  (6-7 serves total) and bang on for 2 serves fruit!