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Fruit Salad For A Crowd

The inspiration for this article came from a reader who asked the following quick questions:

I often hear that about 7 servings of fruit and vegetable per day, but sometimes it is said 7 servings of fruit and 7 of vegetables, and sometimes 7 of both together.

7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day is an average that is recommended but if you can manage to eat more, that would be even better. However, there's more, much more. The British* talk about aiming for a target of 5 a day whereas the Canadians** recommend 7 and more a day for teenagers and adults.

Also, how much is one serving? One apple? A whole salad dish?

One serving is considered to be about 80g. For example, 1 apple or 2 plums or small fruit, a cereal/dessert bowl of salad or 3-4 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables. A glass of juice is also considered to be one portion although I would prefer to eat the fruit. And one portion of beans a day is also counted so if you're a vegetarian you're already automatically ahead. The British and Canadians agree on the portion sizes.

So if the portions are the same does this mean that the British are being encouraged to eat less healthily than their North American cousins or just less?

My comment would be that it depends on the quality of your fruit and vegetables. If you're growing them yourself or getting them for a local organic source you'll be getting more nutrients than if they are non-organic produce from the supermarket. These figures are general guidelines and should be treated as such.

So given the amounts it should be quite easy to meet these targets. How are you doing? Download my food sheet at (normally only given out to consultation clients) which has a fruits and vegetables section to help you keep track.

Finally, here are a couple of ideas for you to increase your fruit and vegetable intake

- Healthy snacks - fruit instead of biscuits or crisps (chips in North America). What's more, most nutritionists agree that fruit should be eaten away from meals rather than with meals. So all the more reason to have it as a snack.

- Having a portion with each meal

  • breakfast - raisins or other dried fruit

  • lunch - cooked vegetables and/or salad and/or beans/pulses

  • dinner - cooked vegetables and/or salad and/or beans/pulses


* Websites of National Health System and Department of Health

**Websites of Public Health Agency of Canada

Copyright 2007 Janet Gomez All rights reserved

Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the "Nutri-Jyoti News", a free bi-monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. If you feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels, sign up for her FREE e-course " 5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life " at