National Nutrition Week runs from the 16th – 22nd of October. It is a great time to take a look at your own diet and see if you can make any improvements. This year the message is around trying to improve Australian’s intake of vegetables, which is at about half of what is recommended!
Your goals do not have to be specific to vegetables. Perhaps you may set just one goal for the week like cutting down sugar sweetened drinks (soft drink, cordial) – even small changes can make a big difference to your health. Below are some ideas to get you started!
Aim for five serves of vegetables every day
One serve = ½ cup cooked or one cup raw
- Have a salad or salad sandwich for lunch
- Prepare vegetable sticks to snack on between meals
- Add extra vegetables to your sauces
- Have a side salad with pasta/ rice dishes
- Try and incorporate as many colours and varieties as possible e.g. red capsicum, white mushrooms, green broccoli, purple egg plant.
Increase your intake of water to 8 glasses every day
- Carry a water bottle around with you
- Have a glass of water with each meal
- Add lemon or other fruit to water to give it some natural flavour
Have two pieces of fruit every day.
One piece = one medium piece (apple, orange) or two small pieces (2 kiwi fruit)
- Have a piece of fruit as a mid meal snack
- Have a piece of fruit chopped and added to your cereal
Eliminate processed meats
- Swap processed meats (sausages, bacon) for freshly cooked meat
Limit highly processed foods
- Try use fresh ingredients as much as possible e.g. fresh/ frozen vegetables, plain traditional oats, fresh meats, wholegrain bread
Decrease your sodium intake
- Do not add salt to cooking
- Do not add salt to your finished meal
- When buying packaged items, aim for a sodium content <120mg/ 100g