12 ways to get your five-a-day

By now, we all know the recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables we should eat for optimal health is 5-a-day, but it can be hard to know what counts. And sometimes, finding recipes to add to your daily repertoire can be a challenge. Below, you’ll find delicious burgers, soup, milkshakes, breakfasts and smoothies to help you on your way to 5-a-day.

Check out our helpful infographic on what counts as a portion of your 5-a-day then discover the top 20 healthiest vegetables and top 20 healthiest fruits.

1. Kebabs

1 portion

During the warmer months, kebas are a great way to load up on vegetables. Try adding mushrooms, peppers and onions to our chicken shish kebabs. Serve with corn on the cob, finished on the barbecue, and a bowl of salad to chalk up an extra portion.

2. Beans on toast

Homemade beans on toast scattered with fresh herbs on a white plate

1 portion

You might be surprised to learn that pulses (lentils or beans) of any type count as one portion of your 5-a-day. With added onions, peppers, and tomatoes, these smoky beans on toast offer an impressive four of your 5-a-day. Serve for breakfast or lunch with salad or avocado on the side.

3. Salad

Mango salad with avocado and black beans in a white bowl on a light blue background

4+ portions

Salad is a fantastic way to include more fresh ingredients into your day. Whether it’s on the side or as the main event, start with a small handful of salad leaves and build from there. With the right recipe, you could even get more than your 5-a-day!

Try this colourful avocado salad with mango and black beans, it provides four of your 5-a-day, is vegan and gluten-free.

4. Cereal toppings

1+ portions

Whether you’re a muesli, porridge or cornflakes fan, topping your morning bowl of cereal with fresh fruit is an easy way to get one portion of your 5-a-day. Start your day on a healthy note with our apricot and hazelnut muesli, it’s packed with apricots, apple and blueberries. Add sliced banana for an extra boost.

5. Dried fruit snack

1 portion

While the sugar in dried fruit can stack up, a little bit as a snack is still a healthy choice. Opt for a small packet of raisins, two dates or a portion of these spiced apple crisps – they can be a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while also getting one of your 5-a-day.

6. Smoothie

Kale smoothie with nuts and avocado

Up to 2 portions

A nourishing smoothie counts as at least one portion of your 5-a-day. If you’re buying one ready-made, choose a smoothie made from whole fruits, as they contain fibre.

Alternatively, whip up our vibrant kale smoothie which sneaks in a generous portion of kale, masking the flavour with sweet pineapple, banana and creamy avocado.

7. Milkshake

1 portion

That’s right, a delicious milkshake can count towards your 5-a-day. An 80g serving of strawberries counts as one of your 5-a-day, so with 225g in this two-person milkshake, you’ll easily reach that. Or, if you prefer, try our creamy banana milkshake.

8. Stir-fry

3+ portions

It’s easy to get two or even three portions of vegetables into a stir-fry – try to go for a wide and colourful selection. Red and green peppers, onion, broccoli, beansprouts and sweet potatoes all make excellent additions to our healthy chicken stir-fry.

9. Soup

2+ portions

Soup can be a wonderful way to reach your 5-a-day, especially if you make it yourself. Pack in the vegetables, lentils and beans to easily get two portions per serving. This hearty, low-calorie meatball and tomato soup counts as an impressive three of your 5-a-day.

10. Hummus and crudites

A pot of hummus with vegetable crudites

2+ portions

While hummus might not seem like a vegetable, the puréed chickpeas count as one of your 5-a-day. All you need is a serving of three tablespoons. And, if you enjoy with veggie crudités as a snack, you can get in another 1-2 portions of your 5-a-day.

11. Burgers

2+ portions

Perhaps not the most obvious vehicle for your 5-a-day, but depending on your toppings, burgers can be a great way to up your vegetable intake. Try this spiced halloumi and pineapple burger with zingy slaw to achieve four of your 5-a-day.

12. Sandwiches

2+ portions

Simply by adding tomato, cucumber or lettuce to your lunchtime sandwich, you can achieve more than two portions of your 5-a-day. Alternatively, stack up the vegetables with our beetroot, hummus and crispy chickpea sub.

Like this? Now try…

Top 20 healthiest vegetables
Top 20 healthiest fruits
Easy ways to eat more vegetables
Top health benefits of frozen fruit and vegetables
Top health benefits of canned fruit and vegetables

What are your favourite ways to get your five-a-day?

Jo Lewin is a registered nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition with a specialism in public health. Follow her on Twitter @nutri_jo.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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