Vegetables: How to reach your goal of 5 serves

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Vegetables: How to reach your goal of 5 serves

As Healthy Living after Cancer Health Coach I often hear from clients that they are struggling to eat five serves of vegetables in a day.  So here are some tips to eat more vegetables and achieve your goal to reach your five serves. 




What is a serve?

Many people are confused by what is a serve of vegetables. A serve of vegetables is:

  • Half a cup of cooked vegetables or
  • One cup of salad or raw vegetables
  • ½ a medium potato or other starchy vegetable
  • 1 medium tomato
  • ½ cup of cooked dried or canned peas or lentils

Vegetable myth busting

  1. Don’t stress about organic versus non- organic – many people worry that they must eat only “organic” vegetables. From a nutrition point of view, the truth is that there isn’t much evidence that organic is any better than non-organic, what is important is to eat vegetables.
  2. Fresh versus frozen – the truth is that both are good. Eating fresh vegetables while they are in season is fantastic however frozen vegetables are very nutritious as they are snap frozen at their peak and provided you don’t overcook them they are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables.

Tips to increase your veggies

  1. Start early – include a serve of vegies with breakfast
  2. Make half your dinner plate vegies
  3. Add extra vegies (grated carrot, zucchini, beans, mushrooms, peas) to soups and mince dishes such as Bolognese, hamburgers or shepherd’s pie – this will help to make the meal go further!
  4. Keep frozen vegetables on hand – they can be cooked in minutes
  5. Keep cut-up vegetables (e.g. carrots and celery sticks) in your fridge to snack on with salsa dip, avocado, hummus or plain yoghurt 
  6. Choose tomato or vegetable sauces for pasta and rice
  7. Buy premade salad mixes from the supermarket or take a big fresh salad from home for a quick and easy lunch
  8. Replace some carbs with a serve of vegies – replace pasta and rice with spiralizer vegetables or cauliflower rice. Mash other veggies into your potatoes to lighten the carbohydrate load – for example mash broccoli into your mash potatoes.

More tips can be found here.



Knowing how to cook tasty vegetables is one of the best skills you can have for your health.

  • For great recipes ideas visit our Eat it to Beat It recipe page.
  • Here are some lunch box ideas to make preparing lunch for the kids stress free.

For more information on healthy diet, go here.


If you would like to find out more about The Healthy Living after Cancer Program and get support around your health goals, go here.



Healthy Living after Cancer Health Consultant

Cancer Council NSW

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