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Looking to boost your fruit and vege?

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Are you struggling to eat your two serves of fruit and five serves of vegies each day? Well you're not alone, with only 6.8 per cent of Aussies getting the recommended five serves of vegies each day. To help us all incorporate more of these essential food groups into our diets, we've asked our dietitians to compile their top tips on how to include more fruit and vegetables into every day life.

 

Breakfast

  • Fresh fruit salad with reduced fat greek yoghurt.
  • Cereal and porridge: add sliced fresh fruit on top!
  • Omelettes: add chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach or sweet corn.

 

Lunch

  • Getting bored with your salads? Try a salad with sunflower or sesame seeds, some wild rice, walnuts or almonds, cottage cheese and a boiled egg to spice up your regular greens. For even more veg, add a small tin of four bean mix. The fibre will keep you fuller for longer.
  • Sandwiches: add beetroot, grated carrot, tomato, cucumber, lettuce or leftover roast vegies.

 

Dinner

  • Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a vegetable stir-fry. Then add a small amount of meat or vegetarian alternative to complement the meal.
  • Include a green salad or steamed vegetables with your dinner every night. Bored of the taste? Don't forget to season with a little olive oil and some pepper, or stir fry in a small amount of peanut or macadamia oil for a slightly different flavour.
  • Add chopped or grated vegetables into pasta dishes or casseroles. Save time by popping it through the food processor on the grate setting.
  • Soup is a great way to add more vegetables into your diet.  Add four bean mix to minestrone soup.  Lentils or chickpeas will boost the fibre content.  A large pot of soup  freezes well for quick lunches and dinners.
  • Add red kidney beans to meat dishes such as bolognese sauce or taco mince.

 

Snacks

  • Ditch your 3pm biscuits in favour of fresh fruit, canned fruit or frozen berries.
  • Crunchy veggie sticks (ie. celery and carrot) with a vegetable-based dip (ie. hummus, salsa, tzatziki or capsicum). Consider keeping a supply of veggie sticks in the fridge for a healthy snack ready-to-go! 

 

Now, don't despair if your supply of fresh fruit and vegies are low.  You will be pleased to know tinned or frozen fruit and vegetable is just as healthy and nutritious as fresh, as most of the time they have been frozen soon after being harvested. Frozen and tinned foods can be a healthy, budget-friendly way to meet your fruit and vegie needs and are easy to add to any meal.

 

Tip: Tinned foods can be high in salt, so look for 'no added salt' and fruits in natural juices rather than syrup.

 

Click here to visit Diabetes Queensland website for delicious fruit and vegetable recipes and other helpful tips in our Shifting Nutrition resource.