5-a-day for babies


How much fruit and veg does your baby need for a healthy diet?

Of course, fruit and vegetables are an important part of your baby's diet during the first stages of weaning, but many parents don’t know how much fruit and veg they should feed their baby once weaning is established. The good news is, the rule of thumb is still “5-a-day” as it is for adults - it's just the size of the portions that changes.

Why do we need 5-a-day?

  • Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a balanced diet and help to keep us healthy
  • Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C and folate.
  • Fruit and vegetables are also a good source of dietary fibre, which helps maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation.
  • A diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
  • They taste great, and there's a wide variety to choose from!

Studies have shown that the foods we're given as babies do affect our food choices when we're older, so introducing 5 different types of fruit and veg in your baby’s daily diet is one of the best ways you can help give him or her a lifelong love of healthy food.

What counts towards 5 a day?

Almost all fruit and vegetables count towards your 5 a day intake:

  • Fresh, Frozen and fruit and vegetables tinned in natural juice or water
  • Dried fruit (eaten as part of a meal to avoid sugar contact with teeth)
  • juice and smoothies, but these only count towards 1, 5 a day portion each day, The NHS recommends to avoid giving juice or smoothies to babies under 12 months. If you do give your baby fruit or vegetable juices, offer them only at mealtimes, and dilute one part juice to 10 parts water until your baby is about five years old.
  • Beans & pulses, which also only count as 1, 5 a day portion a day, as they contain less nutrients than fruit and vegetables.

To get the most from our 5-a-day, we should all be eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Each type of fruit or vegetable contains different nutrients, so eating 3 apples isn't as beneficial as eating an apple, some broccoli and a banana.

What does a baby portion look like?

The 5-a-day advice for adults is based upon World Health Organisation guidance, which recommends eating at least 400g of fruit and vegetables a day. This means the recommended size for an adult portion of fruit or veg is around 80g, and 150ml for juice and smoothies.

5-a-day guidance isn’t applicable to babies below 1 year of age; although fruit and vegetables are a good source of nutrients

Diets should be relatively low in fibre until infants are consuming family meals. While they are growing and developing at a rapid speed, infants needs are for a high energy diet in relation to their body size.

Having a diet that is too high in fibre could fill them up before they have consumed adequate levels of energy and other nutrients

There aren't any formal recommendations for toddler portion sizes, but most experts suggest that around half an adult portion is realistic, so 40g, for children aged 1-4 years old (15-30g dried fruit).

Typical portion sizes for 1-4 year olds:

  • 1-2 tablespoons (40g) cooked vegetables
  • ¼ - ½ a large piece of fruit (40g) such as a mango, apple, orange
  • ½ - 1 small piece of fruit (40g) such as plum, clementine
  • 3-10 berries (40g) such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • ½ - 1 tbsp or 3-5 pieces of dried fruits
  • ½-1 tbsp pulses

Helping your little one get their 5-a-day with HiPP Organic

Whether it's a quick and easy meal, a dessert or a snack you're after, many of our HiPP Organic jars and tray meals contain 1 portion of fruit or veg.

The NHS choices website has more information on how to get your 5-a-day.