Get Moving Challenge Week 2: Get Fresh

Fruit and vegetables make up nearly half of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating- and most Australians don’t eat enough.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults enjoy a variety of nutritious foods
from these 5 groups every day:

  • Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
  • Fruit
  • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads,
    cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are
    not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)

And to drink plenty of water!

Visit www.eatforhealth.gov.au to find out more about the foods you should be eating- you can also calculate your daily energy and nutritional needs!

The benefits of fruit and veggies

Fruit and vegetables provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre to keep us healthy and protect us against chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Veggies in particular can also prevent weight gain and promote weight loss.

Fruit and vegetable deficiency

We know fruit and vegetables are healthy, so how much are we eating? Not enough!
Most Australians are only eating half (or less) of the minimum recommended quantities of fruit and veg a day! 
According to the Australian Health Survey, only 5.5% of Australian adults met the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables- this was lower for adult men and higher for adults over 85 years old.

How much should we eat?

Australian adults aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables to gain the full benefits.
Adults should consume at least 5-6 serves of veggies and 2 serves of fruit
per day. This means: 

Veggies:

  • A serve of veggies is about 75 grams OR
  • ½ cup of cooked green/orange veggies (e.g. broccoli, carrots) OR
  • 1 cup of green leafy/ raw salad veggies OR
  • 1 medium tomato

Fruit:

  • A serve of fruit is about 150 grams OR 
  • 2 small fruits (apricot, kiwifruit) OR
  • 1 medium fruit (apple, banana) OR
  • 1 cup of diced/ canned fruit (no added sugar)

Tips for Eating Well

  • Although frozen, canned or dried fruits and veggies may seem like a healthy choice, they can be packed with added salt, sugar or preservatives and may be doing your health more harm than good. Check the ingredients list to be sure there are no added nasties- but remember fresh is best!
  • It is also important to include lots of legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas in your diet, as well as lean meats, grains and low fat dairy products.
  • Aim to make vegetables take up half of your plate at dinner time.
  • Try adding fruits or veggies to your breakfast: add chopped fruits like kiwifruit, berries or bananas to cereal or yoghurt, or try mushrooms, tomato, spinach or capsicum with toast or an omelette!
  • Grate veggies like beetroot and pumpkin to add some colour (and flavour) to your salad or sandwich.
  • Most veggies can be cooked and pureed to make a delicious, healthy soup. Try to use in-season veggies, and add legumes such as lentils for extra goodness.