Am I eating enough vegetables and fruits? I mean really, am I? How can I be sure? Well the USDA says an active adult should get 10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant so I had to research it a bit.
Before we can really understand if we are eating enough, we need to clarify how much is a serving of vegetables or fruit. In general, a serving size is considered 1/2 cup. But if you grab an apple for your snack, do you really know if that’s equal to one serving, or is it more? What about salad? Do all those greens satisfy my requirement for the day in one sitting? It can get confusing. Let’s take a look at the cheat sheet I made so you can see what equals a serving of the types of fruits and vegetables you may be eating.
How Much is a Serving of Vegetables or Fruit?
1/2 Cup=1 Serving Vegetables or Fruit
1 Large Piece of Fruit=2 Servings Fruit
1 Cup Raw Leafy Greens=1 Serving Vegetables
1/2 Cup Cooked Greens=1 Serving Vegetables
1/4 Cup Dried Fruit=1 Serving Fruit
1/2 Medium Potato=1 Serving Vegetables
5 Broccoli Florets=1 Serving Vegetables
6 Baby Carrots=1 Serving Vegetables
1 Medium Carrot=1 Serving Vegetables
4 Large Strawberries=1 Serving Fruit
16 grapes=1 Serving Fruit
1 Large Celery Stalk=1 Serving Vegetables
1/2 large bell pepper=1 Serving Vegetables
1 Small Bell Pepper=1 Serving Vegetables
Do I normally measure out exactly how much vegetables and fruits I’m eating? No. If I’m filling my plate with mostly plants, I assume I’m getting enough. I know there are days, probably more than once a week, that I’m not eating as many vegetables and fruits as I should. That’s why this month, as part of the Happy Healthy Mama Healthy Year Challenge, the theme is Eat More Plants, and I’m keeping track and focusing on how many servings I’m actually getting.
I’d say it’s worth taking the time to really figure out how many vegetables and fruits we’re eating instead of just guessing or hoping we’re getting enough. Same goes for our children. Do they really get enough? Active children need between 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. I feel a lot more confident that I’m getting enough than my children are. That’s why I’m focusing on their intake this month, too!
I hope this chart will help you as you think about how many vegetables and fruits you and your family are eating each day. Being mindful is the first step to eating as many plants as we should be. Make it a great week, friends!