Did you know that 95% of Australians aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables?
The importance of eating fruits and vegetables is probably a message you have heard many times before. There is some truth to the notion that a plant based diet is one of the most powerful allies in maintaining good health.
Does it matter if I’m not getting enough?
Yes! Fruit and vegetables are packed full of important vitamins and minerals, disease-fighting antioxidants and gut-healthy fibre. If your meals are low in fruits and vegetables, chances are your portion sizes of other foods like animal protein will be unbalanced and there won’t be enough variety in your diet.
Eating more fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest things we can do for better health and wellbeing.
However, people are increasingly struggling to get the amount of fruit, and especially vegetables, our bodies need for health and vitality.
Why are Australians falling short in the veg department?
We often hear people say it’s because they lack inspiration, or don’t have enough time or confidence in their cooking skills to include vegetables in their diet. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are a number of quick and easy ways we can include tasty vegetables in our meals every day.
What are we doing about it?
National Nutrition Week
Join us at Nutrition Australia during National Nutrition Week as we turn the spotlight on vegetables. Running from October 11-17th with the theme Pick Right. Feel Bright!, the campaign is about getting all Australians to eat more colourful fruit and vegetables every day.
We are challenging Australians to Try for Five serves of vegetables each day during Nutrition Week. There are even some prizes to be won! You can check them out here.
Click here to join the challenge.
What is a serve of vegetables?
1 serve = ½ cup cooked vegetables OR 1 cup salad
How do I get the recommended 5 serves in each day?
It’s important to include vegetables in at least two meals and plan to have vegie- based snacks during the day. Here are some simple ways you can incorporate vegetables into various meals throughout the day.
- Add wilted spinach, mushrooms or tomato to an omelette or as a side with eggs on toast.
- Legumes used in baked beans are considered a vegetable and pack a high protein, high fibre punch in the morning. Take a look at our Ranch Style Egg and Bean recipe.
- Prepare vegetable sticks like carrot and celery at the start of the week to have with healthy dips like hummus or tzatziki.
- Try making a vegie- packed frittata and slicing into snack- size squares to have between meals. Leftover roast vegies, onion and baby spinach make for a tasty dish.
- Snack on a small tin of four bean mix.
- Top crackers with vegetables, such as tomato, cucumber or alfalfa
- Fill your sandwich or wrap with at least 1 cup of salad vegetables.
- Pack a large salad to have with tinned fish and wholegrain crackers.
- Add frozen or fresh vegetables as a side with leftovers like pasta, casseroles or other meats.
- Aim to fill at least half of your plate with salad or cooked vegetables.
- If you feel like seconds, have more vegies first.
- Stir fries, casseroles and soups are great dishes for packing vegetables into.
- Get excited about salads again and try something different:
- Beetroot chickpea and feta salad
- Red cabbage and walnut couscous salad
- Super green quinoa and brocolini salad with pistachio pesto dressing
For more information about National Nutrition Week and how you can be involved visit their website here!