Aparently the Department of Health say that in England we only average 2.8 portions of fruit and veg a day! Yet its not that difficult to get 5 portions and this is the minimum recomendation as they don't think we would bother if we knew it was higher!. Recomendations are really 5+ for children, 7+ for women and 9+ for men. Remember it doesn't have to be fresh if budget doesn't allow, even tinned fruit counts. Frozen vegatables are cheaper, with no waste and still full of nutrients.
Here is the department of health website for information on portion sizes etc.
Three meals a day should easily get 5 a day if not more, so here are some budget ways to get your fruit and veg.
Eat more vegetarian meals and try to add extra veg to meals by grating in vegetables to bulk out meals.
Eat fruit as snacks. Bananas are very nutritious and are not expensive.
Add dried fruit to your oats or breakfast cereal.
Homemade houmous and grated carrots sandwiches
Homemade lentil pate with salad sandwiches
Homemade mushroom pate with salad
Homemade guacamole sandwich with salad
Vegetable stew (vegetable stock cube and whatever vegetables are available, if you add soya mince or beans this also will count towards your 5 a day)
Vegetable chilli (tomatoes,kidney beans, onion, soya mince, vegetable stock, chilli powder)-serve with rice, potato, or pasta (non of these count towards your 5 a day!)
Beans and tomatoes on toast
Vegetable stir fry
Canned fruit in fruit juice
Malt bread with jam
Any homemade cake or flapjack can have extra dried fruit added to it or make a carrot cake, courgette cake or beetroot cake!
So check out the above site and before you know it you will be getting way over 5 a day! Remember pulses such as baked beans count, but only as one of your five a day, even if you have two portions. The idea is to get variety, so to get a good range of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals etc. A variety of colour should also get you all these, aim to include all these colours every day if you can.
red (Tomatoes, pasta sauce, tomato juice, tomato soup, red peppers, red onions, beetroot, red cabbage, kidney beans, apples, pink grapefruit, red grapes, strawberries, cherries, watermelon, raspberries, cranberries, pomegranates)
yellow or orange (Carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, yellow peppers, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pineapples, tangerines, apricots, mangoes, papayas)
white:(Cauliflower, mushrooms, white beans, onions, garlic, parsnips, shallots, turnips, ginger, bananas, pears)
green (Leafy greens, asparagus, green peppers, broccoli, green beans, peas, cabbage, green onion, Brussels sprouts, okra, courgette, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, limes)
blue/purple (Aubergine, purple grapes, plums, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, purple figs, dried plums, black currants)
So a two course meal could typically contain garlic, onions, tomatoes, carrots and greens (so thats white, red, orange and green and a dessert could made with grapes or raisins or blackberries etc to get the purple range and then you will get some of each colour and a few of your five a day, possibly all 5 at one meal!