Did you know?
Four out of five Australians are not getting enough fruits and vegetables in their diet, with men faring worse than women, according to the largest survey of its kind done in the Australia conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in 2015/2016.
The CSIRO surveyed over 145,000 adults and found only 24 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men were eating the recommended two fruits and five vegetables a day.
What was interesting was Aussies actually thought they were healthier then they were. While this is interesting, it's not surprising given we also think we eat less then we do!
To find out what your recommended veggie serves are and see where you stand against the Australian Dietary Guidelines Recommendations (ADG), see this link; https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day/recommended-number-serves-adults
According to Healthy Kids NSW, our kids aren't getting enough either with 56% of primary and 80% of secondary school students not eating their recommended daily amount of vegetables.
According to the ADG recommendations for kids are as follows:
Children aged 1-2yrs need 2-3 serves of veggies each day.
Boys aged: 2-3yrs = 2 ½ serves 4-8yrs = 4 ½ serves 9-11yrs = 5 serves 12-13 = 5 ½ serves
14-18 = 5 ½ serves
Girls Aged: 2-3yrs = 2 ½ serves 4-8yrs = 4 ½ serves 9-11yrs = 5 serves 12-13yrs = 5 serves 14-18yrs = 5 serves
There are plenty of ways to increase yours and your families veggie intake. I like to follow my very own 3C's. That is to be;
Creative - think of different ways to include veggies in your cooking. I love to sneak veggies into breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Spreading them out throughout the day also helps to reduce the pressure we can feel as parents for our kids to eat all their veggies at night
Calm - I don't know about you but when I ma being pressured into doing something it doesn't feel nice and it doesn't make me want to do it either! As much as the urge might be strong, take the pressure off both you and your kids- make meal times relaxing, enjoyable and experimental. Take notice of what works for your family and what doesn't. What are the fave veggies and the ones they don't like and see how your meal times evolve!
Consistent - consistency is really important- don't lose hope, just keep offering! Keep making those veggies and one day when things are calm and dinner time feels good, you never know they might reach out and eat that veggie!
I often find one way to boost my kids intake (and mine for that matter) is to cook more veggie stews and soups. The kids love them and they are really easy to make, thanks to the amazing slow cooker.
Below is a popular stew in my house. My boys (aged 2 & 4) BOTH came back for seconds! #kidsdontlie Right?
It is an easy-peasy throw it all in together stew, that tastes delicious. It is adaptable, flexible and balanced. So change it up to suit your tastes and preferences. This is one meal I can be sure will pump up their veggie intake for the day. This stew is a:
Good source of iron
High in vitamins and minerals
High in protein
High in fibre
4 cups Pumpkin / squash (chopped, translates to 1 small pumpkin)
300 grams Chicken Breast (chopped large pieces)
1 can of chickpeas (cooked, drained and rinsed) 1/2 cup Frozen Corn 1 cup Frozen Peas 1 tsp Cumin (ground) 2 Garlic cloves (or 2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic from a jar) 4 cups Organic Chicken Broth (or any type of chicken broth) 1 Carrot (chopped) 1 Onion (diced)
1 cup Quinoa 1 tsp Sea Salt & Black Pepper
1. Add all ingredients except except quinoa & chicken breasts to the slow cooker and stir well to mix. Then lay diced chicken on top and season them generously with sea salt and pepper, cover with liquid. Cover with lid and cook on low setting for 6 hours. (Don't add quinoa, yet)
2. After 3 to 4 hours, remove the lid and add in 1 cup of quinoa. Stir well to mix and let cook on low for another 2 hours, or until quinoa absorbs excess liquid and is light and fluffy.
3. Remove lid, and shred chicken with a fork gently. Place lid back on and let sit for approx 15mins.
4. Serve & Enjoy!
And remember to have fun with the 3 C's!
M.A. Nutrition Coach