Fuseworks Media

New Zealanders motivated to eat more greens: Add One More Vegetable Initiative launches

The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust have partnered with Vegetables.co.nz to launch an exciting new initiative encouraging Kiwi whānau to Add One More Vegetable to their daily routine.

This simple message is designed to make adding more servings of New Zealand vegetables an achievable goal for everyone.

5+ A Day Project Manager, Carmel Ireland, says that recent research- highlights some important opportunities to add the nutritional benefits of vegetables to our meals throughout the day.

The research commissioned by 5+ A Day demonstrated the significant drive from Kiwi shoppers to select products which positively impact their overall health and wellbeing. Nearly 80 percent noted they are motivated to eat more vegetables to improve their diet, while 84 percent said growers make a positive contribution to the nation by supplying healthy food.

“While we should always try to meet the official health guidelines of eating five or more servings of colourful, fresh vegetables and two servings of fruit every day, even adding one more serving is hugely beneficial,” says Ireland.

Just one in every four Kiwi eat the recommended five or more servings of vegetables each day, with only about 20 percent of us including vegetables in our first meal of the day.

“A great way to commit to improving your health is to simply Add One More Vegetable to your breakfast each day. Try slicing tomato or avocado onto your toast in the morning, or adding spinach to a smoothie, every serving counts towards your wellbeing,” says Ireland.

5+ A Day Trustee and Principal Scientist and Team Leader at Plant and Food Research, Dr Carolyn Lister says the addition of just one extra serving of vegetables each day delivers a range of important benefits.

“Not only does it provide you with vital nutrients, such as vitamin C and dietary fibre, but also greater diversity. Each vegetable provides a unique combination of nutrients and phytochemicals that are important for health. This diversity is needed to keep everything in your body working, for example your eyes, skin, muscles, joints and bones,” she says.

“A diverse diet really is important for healthy eating and reducing the risk of diseases, including heart disease, asthma, osteoporosis and diabetes. Studies have reported that the most consistent decrease in disease risk is observed when people increase the diversity of the vegetables they eat,” says Dr Lister.

Ireland says the change of season offers a great opportunity to Add One More Vegetable by choosing from the wide variety of seasonal produce available this month.

“One of my favourite breakfast recipes is a simple frittata. Prepare it ahead of time with plenty of seasonal vegetables, then you can simply slice it and serve hot or cold, or pop in into lunchboxes for a healthy vegetable meal on the go,” says Ireland.

“We’ll be featuring simple ideas to Add One More Vegetable to a variety of dishes on our @5aday social channels throughout the year. The 5+ A Day website is also a great starting point for fresh ideas to create exciting new dishes from seasonal vegetables, you can even search by different mealtimes to make it even easier,” she says.

– The 5+ A Day Awareness and Consumption Report, NielsenIQ, December 2023