Every meal has to contain fruits and vegetables and they have to be the first choice for snack. Vegans will already be gathering the benefits of these nutritious foods, but many people are not eating enough. Fruits and vegetables are fat-free, low in sodium, and provide vital vitamins such as vitamin C, and folate, fibre, and phytochemicals.
Eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day may help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced in people who eat more than three portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help with weight control because they are high in fibre, which creates a feeling of fullness.
Some people may find the difficulty to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day but in fact it is very simple. You may be unsure what a portion actually comprises, so here are some examples:
- 1 medium sized fruit, such as a banana, apple or peach
- 150ml fruit or vegetables juice
- 3 heaped tablespoons cooked peas or carrots, or a bowl of salad.
If you have a glass of fruit juice and cereal topped with a banana for breakfast, carrot as a snack, and green beans and salad with dinner, you will easily get what you need.
I would advise you always to offer children fruits and vegetables as snack to develop good habits right from the start.