National Nutrition Week, (13-19 October) is all about how to try for five serves of vegetables each day by learning to embrace your food waste, and discovering new ways to add vegetables to your meals.
Less than 4% of us eat the recommended five serves of vegetables a day and only 1% of children and teenagers! In fact, the average Australian eats only half the amount of vegetables that they should.
Why Should We Eat Vegetables?
Not just because our Mums told us to!!
Whether they're fresh, frozen or canned, eating more vegetables is one of the easiest things we can all do for better health and well-being. All vegetables can be considered superfoods as they are naturally packed full of important vitamins and minerals, disease-fighting antioxidants and gut-healthy fibre. Plus, they taste really good!
Eating vegetables each day can help you to maintain a healthy weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, plus protect you against chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. A healthy diet may even reduce your risk of depression!
Surely, we want to pass these benefits on to our children, so teaching good eating habits early in life is vital.
More Scary Stats!
Despite all the benefits of healthy food, we throw a lot of it away.
Wasted food makes up more than one third of the contents the average household bin. That’s nearly $4000 worth of groceries per household per year that can end up in landfill, where food breaks down and emits harmful greenhouse gases, including methane, which affect air quality and public health. Wasting food also waste the resources used to grow it (water, soils and energy) plus energy to process, package and transport the food.
So What Can You Do?
With a few simple steps, you can discover new ways to add veg to your day and reduce your household food waste, while saving money and the environment at the same time! Your kids will thank you for it one day!
Here’s some quick tips to get you started:
Eat more parts of your vegetables such as skins, stalks and leaves.
Use up your ageing vegetables that would otherwise go in the bin. Give ageing veg a second life by adding them to vegetable soups, egg frittatas or savoury muffins. Have some ‘go to’ recipes up your sleeve that will help you use up your ageing vegetables.
Choose ‘ugly’ and ‘imperfect’ vegetables to prevent them going to landfill. They’re just as nutritious, and often cheaper.
Learn how to store different types of vegetables, so they stay fresh for as long as possible.
Encourage your children to enjoy veg. Teach them to “Eat a Rainbow” and entice them with colourful, crunchy fruit and veg. Be creative with vegetables, and offer them as snacks, or disguise them in your recipes.
What’s Skippy’s Doing?
At Skippy’s we are passionate about healthy eating. All through the year, our meals are specially planned and prepared by our qualified in-house cooks, using fresh and nutritious ingredients.
For Nutrition Week, we have a special menu that focuses on a different aspect of our health each day, and we will be teaching the children about the food that we are serving them through fun and engaging activities.
We will be doing healthy food arts and crafts, exploring how food grows on farms, learning about what to keep in our pantries, experimenting with different ways to prepare fruit and veg, and making our own dried fruit, to name a few. We are going to learn a lot, and have FUN!
Want more information and helpful recipes?
Visit these great websites for lots of easy tips and practical ideas to hit your healthy eating goals and save money!