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Ask the experts: what healthier food and drink goals should you really be considering this year?

Tuesday 2 January 2018

A young woman stands in her kitchen, holding a paper bag filled with vegetables and fruits.
At this time of year, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by nutrition and diet advice. Our experts shared their simple tips for eating and drinking well throughout the year.

The start of a new year can be a great time to set a resolution about healthier eating and drinking. When you’re in the middle of wading through all the articles, TV segments and books about fad diets and superfoods, though, it can be hard to know where to start.

To make things simpler, we asked our diet and nutrition experts what they think Queenslanders should be focusing on this year when it comes to food and drink goals.

Welma – Director of Nutrition and Dietetics, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service

Mind your portions. Eating the right amount of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner can make a real difference to your weight and your health. Make main meals all about maximising nutrition with the right foods while keeping kilojoules in check.

There is more and more confusion about what a “healthy” diet might look like, and there are lots of fad diets around that promote changed eating for the sake of quick weight loss, instead of focussing on healthy interventions that are sustainable long term. Minding your portions is a great way to get there in a sustainable way; planning to eat the right types of food (less processed, more whole food) in the right portions. 

A small bowl with salad in it, containing chicken breast, avocado, lettuce and tomato.

Rohan – Project Officer Nutrition, South West Hospital and Health Service

Water is always the best choice of drink! Water is vital for our health, making up approximately two thirds of our body, but recent survey data of Australian’s eating patterns tell us we are choosing less healthy, sugary drinks too often.

Water is the best drink for the body as it contains no kilojoules (or sugar) when compared to many other drinks. In Australia, our tap water supply is subject to some of the strictest regulations in the world, meaning it is extremely safe for drinking.

A group of young friends, men and women, cheers over cups of water with lemon slices.

Ayala – Paediatric Dietitian, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service

Healthy eating as a family is important to lots of Queenslanders. Here are three key pieces of advice for healthy eating with kids.

Make meal times fun. Enjoy a variety of fresh foods, prepared together (get the kids involved) and always eat as a family, free from screens and distractions.

Keep it simple! Choose fresh foods and avoid more processed foods. Keep school lunches plastic-free by packing foods that are already “packaged naturally”, like a banana. This is good for your family and for the environment.

Don’t add.Avoid adding items to your lovely fresh meals. Try to keep your dinner table sauce and condiment free, as these can contain a lot of added sugars and salt.

A father and his young daughter cook dinner together in the kitchen, each chopping veges.

Charlotte – Senior Public Health Nutritionist, Department of Health

Choose a colourful range of veggies every day. Try using colourful veggies in your meals and snacks at home. Placing a bowl or plate of fresh salad in the centre of the table at meal time may help the family eat more!

Make sure you plan ahead and buy enough veggies to last you until your next shop, but remember frozen veggies count and are great if you don’t have any other alternatives.

Keep it simple and healthy – let it fit with your life. You don’t need to have veggie smoothies, kale or bok choy if you don’t want to, just choose a few different coloured veggies each day and experiment with new ways of using them.

A variety of fruits and vegetables of all different colours are laid out on a table.

More tips

Want more tips about healthy eating?

Visit Healthier. Happier. for a range of healthy recipes to try in 2018, and read our articles about eating colourfully, meal planning, avoiding hidden sugars, and reading food labels.

Last updated: 17 January 2018