Easy Ways to 10 a Day!

by | Sep 1, 2023 | Food Facts, What To Eat

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If you’re new here, welcome, welcome to our Saturday What To Eat email that sees me talk about food, broadly, what I’m thinking about food and what I’m reading. Oh and what I’m eating, as that’s very important.

I’m over the summer and bad diets- yesterday (and possibly the day before), I had a bag of crisps and some hot buttered sourdough. I’d done some recipe development on Monday (6 new recipes on the Stir It Up Menu before Christmas!) so the kids were covered- but they themselves were low on appetite after a sickly situation from river swimming while camping.. GRRR. 

I’m ready to eat well. Honest.

How much veg are we actually eating?

Doing some research earlier this week, I came across findings by the Food Foundation in its 2021 Peas Please report. 

  • 77% of adults don’t eat the recommended amount of veg. 5 portions is the minimum, the optimum is more like 7-8.
  • 89% of children (5-10 years) don’t eat more than 3 portions of veg daily
  • a third of children in the UK eat less than 1 portion of veg a day

In most households, vegetable consumption has actually dropped since 2012.

What we should be eating

Variety is as important as volume.

Tell that to my discerning daughter. Each vegetable brings a unique array of health-boosting phytochemicals and nutrients to support our hearts, brains, muscles, nervous systems, eyesight, circulatory and immune systems, energy and protect us against the free radicals that attack our healthy cells to cause non-communicable diseases.

(BTW, we used over 50 different vegetables in our bags last year yes, I counted!!)

It’s a tall order because we’re just not used to eating that much veg on a daily basis and we can’t be making Sunday lunch every day of the week. 

4 really easy ways to eat 10 a day (without cooking!)

1. Smoothies for breakfast– be sure to add a nugget of frozen spinach and yoghurt/kefir for protein.

2. School snack– move away from the strictly fruit-based snack and add a little pot of sugar snap peas (amazing with hummus- thank you Natasha Epstein for this wondrous idea) mini cucumbers or baby tomatoes. 

3. Lunch– try them out with an extra portion of fun veg- peas in the pod when they’re in season, a little corn on the cob or baby carrots

4. I’ve said it many a time and I’ll say it again, a plate of crudités (cuke, pepper, carrot, celery) with a dip (tzatziki, hummus, guacamole) is a game changer. Put it on the table before dinner’s ready and watch them snack. 

A rough count suggests 8+ veggies here (I’m counting the hummus/guac because it is VERY GOOD) and probably at least 2 portions of fruit.

That’s 10 a day!

And you haven’t even had dinner.

Have an amazing week!

Jacquie x