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QCWA's cooking gets a healthy makeover

Queensland Country Women's Association (QCWA) is encouraging members to make small healthy changes to home cooking and catering menus.

But don't let the association's healthy moves worry you, scones are still on the menu!

Attending the Ekka's Fresh Food Pavilion Pavilion today, QCWA's Country Kitchens program launched their Healthy Catering Guidelines in collaboration with Queensland Health.

QCWA Country Kitchens Program Coordinator, Fiona McKenzie said the guidelines had been developed by accredited practising dietitians who had been delivering hands-on nutrition and cooking workshops in rural communities across the state.

"The guidelines provide a range of handy tips about healthy eating, food safety along with practical ways to make changes to recipes so they are healthier," Ms McKenzie said.

"It's fitting that we're surrounded here today by beautiful fresh produce grown and produced here in the sunshine state.

"The launch of today's guidelines will see our members return to their local communities where they do what they do best and that is preparing tasty, healthy and home-made meals.

"The guidelines also support the hands-on nutrition workshops we have been running across the state which have been extremely popular."

Queensland Health's Executive Director of Preventive Health, Kaye Pulsford said the partnership with QCWA was just one of the ways Queensland Health was helping Queenslanders be healthier.

"These QCWA initiatives supporting Queenslanders to cook healthy meals at home are particularly important as eating out of the home has become commonplace," Ms Pulsford said.

"Australian's are spending about one in four food dollars on restaurant meals and take away food.

"Fast food typically contains more kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt and come in larger portion sizes than meals prepared at home. It just makes sense for both our pockets and health to cook more meals at home."

Ms Pulsford also said it was encouraging to see that after many decades of annual increases, there's been a steadying in the rates of obesity in Queensland adults and children.

"However, the rates remain very high with two thirds of adults and a quarter of children still overweight or obese," she said.

"Queensland Health is providing a range of programs to promote and encourage a healthy lifestyle to help make Queenslanders among the healthiest people in the world.

"We recently launched the Healthier. Happier. Straight Answers campaign to help Queenslanders sort fact from fiction in relation to diet and exercise."

Find out what you know, what you don't know, and what you should know about nutrition, physical activity, weight and lifestyle by visiting www.healthier.qld.gov.au

The Healthy Catering Guidelines can be purchased for $10 from the QCWA state office and at Country Kitchens events.

To find out more about the Country Kitchens program and where the team will be running workshops across Queensland visit http://www.qcwa.org.au/countrykitchens/

Last updated: 24 August 2016