Blog: “5-4-3-2-1-A-Day?"

August 2, 2015


The 5-A-Day For Better Health program is a national effort to raise fruit and vegetable consumption to between 5 and 9 servings a day.  It claims that, since their program was started in 1991 by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health, fruit and vegetable consumption has increased from 3.0 servings per day to 4.4 servings a day.  That is encouraging, but I know that is not the case for many of us.  If fruits and vegetables are not a regular part of your diet, how about aiming for “4”, “3”, “2” or even “1” per day?


Regardless of whether it’s fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juiced fruits and vegetables, it all counts toward the number of daily servings.  When all of these available forms are considered, along with the proper serving size, it becomes much easier to consume the desired number of servings each day.  Providing fresh whole foods at cost can be a very effective way to encourage this at work.  Services like The Fruit Guys will deliver quality produce to your workplace every week.  National food retailers, and even some local supermarkets, will provide the same service.


Keeping track of your servings is made easier with some simple portion-size guidelines.  Use WebMD’s serving size measures below to help you achieve your fruit and vegetable consumption goal.


Fruits Serving Sizes

  • 1/2 banana

  • 1 small apple, orange, or pear

  • 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit

Vegetables Serving Sizes

  • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables

  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables; cooked, raw (chopped), or canned

  • 1/2 cup of vegetable juice

Survey your co-workers.  Find out the average number of servings consumed and then challenge everyone, over a specified number of weeks, to replace unhealthy food with healthy “real” food. 




M. J. 


M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, which transforms work environments with a radically different bottom-up approach that inspires continuous improvement in health and wellbeing. To learn more, visit the website at: or email M. J. directly at:

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