To celebrate National Nutrition Week, the Life! program challenges you to try for 5 & 2!
The current guidelines recommend that adults 18 years and over consume 5 servings of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day due to their health benefits. Alarmingly, on average, Australians are only consuming 2.7 serves of vegetables and 1.5 serves of fruit per day – a far cry away from the recommended guidelines.
We know that there are many barriers to healthy eating such as cooking skills, time constraints, food and taste preferences and budgets. So, we’ve put together our top three tips on how to include more fruit and veg into your diet in a way that’s easy and achievable. (Spoiler: No fancy, expensive greens powders required here!)
How you can meet the guidelines
- Plan ahead!
It’s Thursday night and you have no idea what to cook. Spag bol? Had that already. Roast? Eh, that’s more of a weekend thing. Fish curry? It’s too hot for that.
We’ve all been there, when your mealtime inspiration has been worn thin and the thought of cooking is no longer appealing. The easiest thing to do would be to order takeaway, right? But what if we told you that this recurring roadblock could be avoided with 30 minutes of planning on the weekend?
Create a menu. Use our health hub, google or your local supermarkets catalogues to decide which quick and easy meals you will have throughout the week. Having a menu planned ahead of time means you are more likely to stay within your weekly budget. It also gives you total control of the meal meaning, you can make healthier choices and are more likely to meet nutrition guidelines. Planning ahead also helps to reduce your food wastage (gone are the days of greens wilting away in the back of the fridge!)
- Don’t forgo your snacks!
Who said that fruit and vegetables should be served with main meals only? Not us! Fruit and vegetables are great low-calorie options, making them the perfect candidate for snacking on. Instead of reaching for a packet of crackers, try incorporating the below. This way you’re ticking the fruit and veg box, whilst satisfying those pre-dinner hunger pangs!
Low calorie snack ideas:
- Carrot sticks + hummus
- Cherry tomato + low sodium feta skewers
- Apple or banana and peanut butter
- Homemade kale chips
- Guacamole with veggie sticks.
- Learn your serving sizes!
So there’s been all this talk about trying for 5 & 2, but what exactly counts as a serve?
A standard serve of vegetables is ~75g, or:
• ½ cup cooked green/orange vegetables
• ½ cup canned beans, peas or lentils
• 1 cup green leafy/salad vegetables
• ½ cup sweet corn
• ½ medium potato/sweet potato
• 1 medium tomato
A standard serving of fruit is ~150g, or;
- 1 medium sized piece of fruit
- 1 cup berries
- 2 small pieces of fruit
Find out what a day of eating five serves of veggies might look like here, and two serves of fruit here.
For recipes, resources and inspiration visit tryfor5.org.au