Vegetable and Fruit Challenge: Are you getting enough each day?

variety of fruit and vegetables

You know that eating vegetables and fruit may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But do you find it a challenge to get the 7-10 servings you need each day as recommended by Canada’s Food Guide? Well, you might be surprised to find out that a serving of vegetables and fruit is not very big. 

Watch this! Learn more about how to meet the number of servings of vegetables and fruit that you need in this video.

Amount   Examples  
One medium piece or 125 mL (½ cup) of fresh vegetables or fruit   apple, pear, guava, chayote, strawberries, banana, grapes, baby carrots, sliced tomato, chopped bell pepper, sliced pineapple, ½ grapefruit, ½ mango, sliced cantaloupe  
125 mL (1/2 cup) cooked vegetables   squash, sweet potato, yam, cauliflower, zucchini, rapini, cabbage, bitter melon, tomatillos, eggplant, callaloo, bok choy, kohlrabi  
125 mL (1/2 cup) low sodium canned vegetables or no sugar added canned fruit   applesauce, green beans, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, beets  
250 mL (1 cup) of raw leafy greens   spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, dandelion greens, kale, collards  
125 mL (½ cup) frozen vegetables or fruit   peas, corn, edamame, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, spinach, okra, broccoli  
60 mL (1/4 cup) dried fruit   apricots, cranberries, raisins, dates, prunes, figs  
125 mL (½ cup) of juice   100% unsweetened fruit juice, lower sodium vegetable juice  

The number of servings you eat can quickly add up if you include 1-2 at every meal or snack. Here’s a sample menu:

Meal time   Meal   Number of servings  
Breakfast   Oatmeal with 250 mL (1 cup) strawberries, 1% milk   2  
Morning snack (optional)   Yogurt, 60 mL (¼ cup) dried apricots   1  
Lunch   Whole wheat pita bread with canned salmon, 250 mL (1 cup) baby spinach, 125 mL (½ cup) cherry tomatoes   2  
Afternoon snack (optional)   Whole grain bread, peanut butter, 1 sliced banana   1  
Dinner   Sweet Chili Tofu Stir-Fry with tofu, 250 mL (1 cup) of a combination of onion, carrots, bell pepper, broccoli and peas, brown rice   2  
Evening snack (optional)   250 mL (1 cup) edamame beans   2  
Total Servings   10*  

*How many you aim for each day will depend on your age and gender:


The number of vegetable and fruit servings adults need each day  
19-50 Years   51+ Years  
Females   Males   Females   Males  
7-8   8-10   7   7  

Print this chart or create your own and use it to keep track of how many vegetables and fruit you eat in a day. 

Make it better! Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable or fruit each day:

Dark green vegetables include: arugula, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peas, okra, romaine lettuce, fiddleheads, bok choy, spinach, collards, seaweed, dandelion greens, and Swiss chard. 

Here are some recipe ideas:

Vermicelli with Broccoli and Grilled Beef

Swiss chard and navy bean soup

Grilled Asparagus and Sweet Potato with Curry

Orange vegetables include: carrots, pumpkins, squash, yams and sweet potatoes. Orange fruits include: cantaloupe, papaya, apricots, mango, nectarines and peaches.

Here are some recipe ideas:

Spicy Chicken and Squash Stew

Ontario Squash Dip

Curried Cream of Parsnip and Carrot Soup

Sweet and Cruncy Carrot and Apple Salad

Get menu planning!

For more meal and snack ideas to help you meet the recommended number of servings you need in a day, use My Menu Planner. Customize a menu plan to meet your favourite foods and lifestyle goals. 

You may also be interested in:

Vegetable and Fruit Checklist

Video: How to store fruit to keep them fresh

Video: How to store vegetables to keep them fresh

Last Update – May 1, 2018

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