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Help! Eat five a day every day?

Eat five-a-day. Everyone knows it. “It” is the most common topic that comes up in my counseling – the number one area for dietary change. Even though you “know it,” “it” still feels difficult, even impossible. Laziness is often cited as the reason. Sometimes cost. Taste is described as unfamiliar. And what else could you do with “those”? Something other than a basic salad? The question, of course, is about eating vegetables five portions a day every day. 

The current recommendation is five portions of vegetables daily or half a kilogram daily. Most Finns reach less than five a day. Women eat slightly more vegetables than men, but only 22% of Finnish women still eat enough vegetables, fruits, or berries. Globally, the numbers are more or less the same.

Adding vegetables to your diet significantly increases your well-being.

Increasing vegetable consumption is a challenge for everyone. Even though healthcare professionals know this, we can easily skip adding vegetables to the meal when tired and hungry. 

Knowledge of the health benefits of vegetables increases self-criticism: “I should eat vegetables, but…”

It’s impossible to eat vegetables from an empty fridge. When shopping, you should have the energy to think about what fruits, vegetables, or berries to buy and how much. You should stop at the fruit and vegetables section and, despite the prices, put vegetables in your shopping cart. Often, people want to skip this step; quickly put minced meat and a milk carton in the shopping basket and head home from the store.

People are horrified by the five-a-day vegetable quantity.

Some people are scared by the amount of vegetables. So, five-a-day?! A huge amount! Can you even eat anything else? What if you get hungry when you eat “only vegetables”? I’ve heard these sentences often in my counseling.

People know the need to eat vegetables, but the execution falls short.

If you want to see what half a kilogram of vegetables looks like, take a look at the video behind the link on the NHS site here.

Becoming aware of your own vegetable-eating habits is the first step

Do you eat five portions of vegetables a day? Vegetables include fruits, berries, vegetables, root vegetables, and mushrooms. Are you sure you eat enough vegetables?

To reach the five-a-day of vegetables daily, having them as part of every meal is good. So, berries in the morning, salad at lunch, fruit for a snack, steamed vegetables for dinner, and cucumber and tomatoes on bread for supper.

Photographing portions is an easy way to increase vegetable awareness.

Photographing them is an excellent way to become aware of your habits and routines because it is a simple way to track your meals and see everything afterward.

Do you have the See How You Eat photo-based food diary app? With it, you can easily see whether you use vegetables in every meal of the day. By looking at the day’s summary, it’s easy to estimate whether you’ve reached half a kilogram of vegetables for the day based on meal photos.

If you still need to get the SHYE app, I recommend downloading it immediately. Take pictures of all your meals for a week and make observations. Do you reach five portions of vegetables a day, everyday? Are some days easier than others?

Take pictures of all your meals for a week and make observations. Do you reach five portions of vegetables a day? 

If you have a good tip on how to increase vegetable consumption, please share it with us. You can even tag us in your Instagram post. We’re happy to share your tips with others.

My tips for reaching the goal of five a day every day

In the next blog post, I’ll share my tips on reaching the goal of five a day!

Wishing you enlightening moments,


Licensed Nutritionist
See How You Eat Apps
Health Revolution Ltd.

P.S. Or are your days busy? Here, you can read my tips on how to eat healthily in a hurry.

P.P.S. Pasta portions seldom have a lot of vegetables. As seen in the feature picture and this meal post. That is why photographing is an easy and powerful way to keep a journal of your meals.

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