Heart Foundation NSW urges people to eat their fruit and veggies
20th Jul 2012
If you have young children, then chances are you know how difficult it can be to encourage them to eat their fruit and vegetables.
While some parents may be blessed with offspring who will happily eat anything, more often than not all kids go through a stage of being fussy and stubborn when it comes to choosing food.
For some reason about the age that children are old enough to express themselves, they very quickly learn to say "no" to anything green.
Usually this is something that kids grow out of as they get older, however new research suggests that this may not always be the case.
It seems that most Australians, regardless of age, are not eating the recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables, which is two servings of the former and seven of the latter.
This was revealed in the latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), entitled Australia's Food and Nutrition 2012, which was released on July 17.
In addition to revealing that people are not eating enough, the report also found that households throw away hundreds of dollars of fruit and veggies every year, which adds up to billions for the nation as a whole.
Concerned by these statistics, the Heart Foundation NSW has issued a press release encouraging people to save these nutritional foods from the fate of the rubbish bin.
"Throwing out over a billion dollars worth of produce every year is an alarming revelation," Heart Foundation NSW chief executive Tony Thirlwell said (July 19).
"We'd encourage the people in NSW to take the opportunity to actively incorporate more vegetables into their diets in order to better protect themselves from heart disease, the leading cause of death in this country."
The Heart Foundation included a vegetable soup recipe in the press release, suggesting that this is a great way to use up a variety of veggies, even slightly older ones that may have been destined for the trash.
"An excellent way to combat this wastage is to try the Heart Foundation's recipes that incorporate a lot of vegetables and try being innovative such as not discarding slightly older vegetables, instead add them together to make a healthy soup," Mr Thirlwell said.
If you are finding that every week you have to throw away rotting items, then maybe you are buying too much fresh produce.
While fresh is great, you may find it more cost-effective in the long run to stock your pantry with tinned fruits, veggies and even some dietary supplements. These are all a great way to get important vitamins and minerals and have a much longer shelf-life than their unpreserved alternatives.