How to include your five-a-day whilst on the go

We all lead busy lives, with a work schedule, family commitments and a packed social life to contend with. But it’s at these busy times when we need to be at our healthiest, so making sure you get your five a day is vital. It is easier than you think to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals, once such way is to cook meals for yourself so that you know what nutrients have gone into them.

Creating a more balanced diet is a matter of changing your habits and the way in which you prepare your meals. Dieticians suggest asking yourself a simple question when you’re cooking a meal – “what can I do that will add at least one portion of fruit and vegetables to this meal?” One such way is to add a portion of fruit and vegetables to the side of your meal, even if you are eating a ready meal, such as sweetcorn or a salad.

For breakfast, you don’t have to avoid your favourite cereal – simply slice up some fruit such as strawberries or a banana over the top to improve the nutritional value. If a savoury start to the day is more your thing, you could opt for a healthy meal such as scrambled eggs on toast and add a portion of tomatoes or mushrooms to your dish.

As a mid-morning snack, take an apple or a satsuma to sate your appetite. Alternatively, you could take a pot of carrot sticks with a low-fat houmous as tasty yet healthy elevenses. Although this requires a bit more planning, it is an easy way to include one of your five a day. The same can be said of your lunch – you don’t need to forgo your usual sandwich or baguette, simply add some lettuce and tomato to it, or eat a portion of fruit as a healthier way to top up your lunchtime meal.

Meals outside of the home needn’t hinder your goal either though – if you are able to order a side dish, opt for vegetables instead of chips, or add an ingredient to your meal which will count towards your five a day, such as to a pizza. If your meal comes with a salad, make sure you eat it rather than leaving it on the side of the plate, as this will also top up your five a day intake.

Meeting your five a day quota doesn’t need to be a tricky task, it is simply a case of changing your eating habits and thinking of ways to make your regular meals healthier, such as drinking a glass of fruit juice with your breakfast or adding salad to your lunch.

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