Australians urged to double their vegetable intake during National Nutrition Week


Nutrition Australia, the country’s leading non-profit nutrition organisation and creators of the Healthy Eating Pyramid, is challenging all Australians to take the pledge to eat more veg during National Nutrition Week, 16-22 October 2016.

With an alarming 96% of Australians failing to eat their recommend daily intake of vegetables, Nutrition Australia’s Try For 5 theme encourages all Australians to discover new ways to add veg to their day.

The recommended daily intake for people over 4 years of age is around 5 serves of vegetables and legumes a day (75g per serve), yet data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics shows that the average Australian eats around half that amount.

“It’s the food group that we eat the least, yet it’s the one we should eat from the most!” said Lucinda Hancock, Accredited Nutritionist and CEO of Nutrition Australia Vic Division.

“Whether they’re fresh, frozen or canned, eating a rainbow of vegetables every day is one of the easiest things we can do to improve our health and wellbeing.”

“Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which all help keep our minds and bodies working day-to-day, and reduce our risk of chronic disease in the future.”

President of Nutrition Australia, Rob Rees said “Our Healthy Eating Pyramid has been advising Australians to eat a diet of mostly plant foods, including vegetables and legumes, for over 30 years. Sadly, we know that most Australians don’t eat the balanced diet that’s recommended by the Pyramid, and this is why we’re seeing such high rates of diet-related diseases.”

“In fact the average Australian gets over a one third of their daily kilojoules (energy) from ‘junk foods’, like biscuit and cakes, confectionery, take away foods, sugary drinks and alcohol,“ said Mr Rees .

Nutrition Australia is supporting the Try For 5 goal with 3 key strategies to boost vegetable intake:

Eat a rainbow

Eating a variety of vegetables each day exposes us to a wide range of nutrients for better health. We should eat different coloured vegetables every day because each colour carries its own set of unique health-promoting properties called ‘phytochemicals’ that give vegetables their colour, flavour, taste and even smell.

Try something new

Trying new things is a great strategy to boost your vegetable intake. Whether that’s trying new vegetables, a new recipe, or trying vegetables in a way that you normally don’t consume them like at breakfast or in a snack. Experimenting with vegetables and preparing foods can give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to easily prepare vegetables to suit your tastes, which makes you more likely to buy, cook and consume them.

Love your legumes

2016 is International Year of the Pulse (another term for legumes) and they are a cheap and versatile source of fibre, protein plus many other important nutrients. We should have 2–3 serves of legumes a week for health benefits.

Sibylla Stephen is one half of children’s band, Teeny Tiny Stevies, who are ambassadors for National Nutrition Week 2016.

Mum-of-two Sibylla and her bandmate and sister, Beth, are releasing the animated video for their song “I Ate A Rainbow” during National Nutrition Week, which was written as a tool to help parents teach their children about why we should eat different coloured vegetables every day. And it’s a perfect match with the storybook, I’m having a rainbow for dinner published by Nutrition Australia’s Queensland Division.

“I’m thrilled to be an ambassador for National Nutrition Week because I think we can all do with learning some new quick and easy ways to feed ourselves and our families with vegetables,” Sibylla said.

“My children are four and one, and their relationship with food changes as they get older. It can be incredibly frustrating to get them to eat their veggies, but I always encourage them to try different veggies cooked in different ways, and learn what they do and don’t like.

“As parents we try so hard to make sure our kids are well nourished, but the stats show that we’re not taking our own advice. I think ‘eating a rainbow’ is a great message for children and adults alike!”


National Nutrition Week runs from 16-22 October 2016. Click here for recipes, tips and resources to discover new ways to add veg to your day.




Caitlin Syrett
Communications Manager
National Nutrition Week 2016 Coordinator
Nutrition Australia Vic Division
csyrett [at]
03 8341 5812
Aloysa Hourigan
Senior Nutritionist/Nutrition Program Manager
NAQ Nutrition
ahourigan [at]
0417 078 956
Leanne Elliston
Accredited Practising Dietitian Program Manager
Nutrition Australia ACT Division
lelliston [at]
02 6162 2583


About Nutrition Australia

Nutrition Australia is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation, providing nutrition education and advisory services, products and events. Nutrition Australia is comprised of five independent state divisions that provide local programs and services, while collaborating on national initiatives such as the Healthy Eating Pyramid and National Nutrition Week.

For more information or on I’m having a rainbow for dinner, call 07 3257 4393 or email


About the Teeny Tiny Stevies

Teeny Tiny Stevies is a kids music project developed by sisters Sibylla and Beth from Aussie folk-pop band The Little Stevies. Their debut album as Teeny Tiny Stevies is called ’Useful Songs For Little People’ and it’s full of just that! Their popularity among parents is spreading quickly due to the songs’ educational messages for kids and the entertainment factor for the adults. They’re making kids music for the children of real music lovers. Or as Zoe Foster-Blake recently put it “Kids music that doesn’t suck”.

The animated music video for I Ate a Rainbow” is the forth to be released from the album. Illustrated and animated by local Melbourne artist Simon Howe, it’s a psychedelic fruit & veggie salad-party of enormous proportions and will have children everywhere marching to the kitchen to gobble up all their vegetables.

Watch "I Ate a Rainbow" below:

National Nutrition Week is proudly sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Mushrooms and Smash Enterprises.




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