Introducing The Daily Drop-in: Our daily pick of the best tools and articles to help you care for yourself during lockdown.
One adult portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g.
The guide below will give you an indication of typical portion sizes for adults.
Children should also eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. The amount of food a child needs varies with age, body size and levels of physical activity. As a rough guide, one portion is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand.
One portion is two or more small fruit, for example two plums, two satsumas, two kiwi fruit, three apricots, six lychees, seven strawberries or 14 cherries.
One portion is one piece of fruit, such as one apple, banana, pear, orange or nectarine.
One portion is half a grapefruit, one slice of papaya, one slice of melon (5cm slice), one large slice of pineapple or two slices of mango (5cm slices).
A portion of dried fruit is around 30g. This is about one heaped tablespoon of raisins, currants or sultanas, one tablespoon of mixed fruit, two figs, three prunes or one handful of dried banana chips.
However, dried fruit can be high in sugar and can be bad for your teeth. Try to swap dried fruit for fresh fruit, especially between meals. To reduce the risk of tooth decay, dried fruit is best enjoyed as part of a meal, as dessert for example, not as a between meal snack.
One portion is roughly the same quantity of fruit that you would eat for a fresh portion, such as two pear or peach halves, six apricot halves or eight segments of tinned grapefruit. Choose fruit canned in natural juice, rather than syrup.
Two broccoli spears or four heaped tablespoons of cooked kale, spinach, spring greens or green beans count as one portion.
Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as carrots, peas or sweetcorn, or eight cauliflower florets count as one portion.
Three sticks of celery, a 5cm piece of cucumber, one medium tomato or seven cherry tomatoes count as one portion.
Roughly the same quantity as you would eat for a fresh portion. For example, three heaped tablespoons of tinned or frozen carrots, peas or sweetcorn count as one portion each. For tinned, choose those canned in water, with no added salt or sugar.
Three heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas count as one portion each. Remember, however much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of one portion a day.
Potatoes don't count towards your 5 A Day. This is the same for yams, cassava and plantain too. They are classified nutritionally as a starchy food, because when eaten as part of a meal they are usually used in place of other sources of starch, such as bread, rice or pasta. Although they don't count towards your 5 A Day, potatoes do play an important role in your diet as a starchy food. You can learn more in 5 A Day: what counts?
Unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies can only ever count as a maximum of one portion of your 5 A Day.
For example, if you have two glasses of fruit juice and a smoothie in one day, that still only counts as one portion.
Smoothies include any drink made up of any combination of fruit/vegetable juice, puree or all the edible pulped fruit or vegetable.
Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day – which is a small glass.
For example, if you have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in one day, you'll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.
When fruit is blended or juiced, it releases the sugars which increases the risk of tooth decay so it's best to drink fruit juice or smoothies at mealtimes.
Whole fruits are less likely to cause tooth decay because the sugars are contained within the structure of the fruit.
Watch out for drinks that say "juice drink" on the pack as they are unlikely to count towards your 5 A Day and can be high in sugar.
Fruit and vegetables contained in shop-bought ready-made foods can also count toward your 5 A Day.
Always read the label. Some ready-made foods contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar, so only have them occasionally or in small amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet. You can find out more in Food labels.
See more examples of 5 A Day portion sizes (PDF, 110kb).
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.