The new 5-a-day




By Caryl Faye Yulo


So it’s recently been noted by health experts that the 5-a-day is no longer cutting it. The edited version is still being debated over but the general consensus is that two to three fruits a day with four to five vegetables will do you better. Now, as college students, it seems almost impossible to reach this new target. Well, here are six ways of getting somewhere close to it.


  1. Have a smoothie or juice (not from concentrate), with a fruit in the morning. Best tip is to go to any supermarket before closing time and get fruit at a discounted price. Go cheap but keep an eye on the expiry dates.
  2. When ordering, ask for extra veggies in your wrap or sub, or have carrots and peas with your dinner.
  3. Pack some fruit with you for when you’re feeling peckish – it’s much better than that bar of chocolate you’ll be reaching for. If plain fruit is too much for you, then get some yogurt with fruit pieces in it.
  4. If you are a pot noodle fanatic, cut up, then boil some pieces of broccoli for three minutes and pop them in – add corn if you have some. Trust me on this, I’m Asian. (On a side note, if you’re feeling adventurous, crack an egg before adding the water, which should be fresh from the kettle and boiling.)
  5. You can boil most things and have them with a nice dollop of butter or gravy – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peas, corn, sweet potatoes and parsnips, the list goes on.
  6. Don’t be afraid of the oven: turn the gas to 200°C, chop up your veg, drizzle on some olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes. If you don’t have the time, chop up the veg into smaller pieces. Poke the carrots to check if they are ready.


Here’s an easy soup recipe:


Ingredients                                           Approx. Price

1 small onion                                       22c

2 potatoes                                            70c

2 carrots                                               20c

1 leek                                                   54c

1 celery stick                                       10c

2 chicken stock cubes                           9c

Sprinkle of salt and pepper                   1c

Spoon of butter                                     5c

Total                                                    €1.91 per portion


Peel and chop everything. The potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and the white part of the leek should be the size of a sugar cube. The green part of the leek should be chopped thinner. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion, potatoes and leek. After 10 minutes, add the rest of the veg. Add hot water and two stock cubes, it should just cover everything. Once it starts to boil, turn down to the lowest heat and leave for 20 minutes or until soft. Add pepper and salt. If it’s too bland, drop in another stock cube. Mash it up with a sieve and a spoon or improvise, but use common sense. You can freeze the soup in portion sizes for up to a month or three days in the fridge.