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Food Beverages, Government QLD

From ‘yuck’ to ‘yum’: Embracing unloved veggies of childhood

Health and Wellbeing Queensland 2 mins read
  • Less than 9% of Australian adults and children eat enough vegetables

  • Adults should eat 5 servings of vegetables a day as part of a balanced diet 

  • 1 in 4 Australians only eat one serve of vegetables or less a day 

Australians are being urged to give vegetables a fair go by trying ones they didn’t like as a kid. 

As part of National Nutrition Week (15-21 October), Health and Wellbeing Queensland is encouraging Australians to challenge themselves to try some of the often avoided veg including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beans, mushrooms and cabbage. 

Health and Wellbeing Queensland dietitian Sherridan Cluff grew up hating Brussels sprouts and only discovered how delicious they could be as an adult. 

'As a kid, Brussels sprouts came out of a steamer with a strange smell and not a lot of taste,' Ms Cluff said. 

'It wasn't until my twenties when I was served Brussels sprouts out of the air fryer that I realised just how delicious they could be — now they’re a part of my weekly meal plan.' 

Ms Cluff said we tend to think we don't like certain veggies because of how they were prepared for us as a child, or maybe because we were never exposed to them in the first place. 

'Overcooking is a common crime against vegetables that can alter taste and nutritional value,' Ms Cluff said.

'Our memories of vegetables as a child — the look, taste, smell or texture — can influence what we eat as adults and what we avoid. 

'Enjoying a variety of vegetables can help us get the nutrients we need and makes it easier to shop in-season when produce is more affordable.'

Nutrition Australia chief executive officer Lucinda Hancock said Australians should try for five serves of vegetables every day. 

'We know less than 9% of adults and children eat the recommended servings of vegetables a day. But every veg you do eat means that you’re investing in your health,' Ms Hancock said.

'Eating five serves of veggies a day can safeguard us from chronic health conditions such as Type II diabetes, stroke, heart disease and obesity. 

'Vegetables also play a pivotal role in optimal nutrition — their rich nutrient profiles not only support physical health but also contribute significantly to overall wellbeing.'

Interviews available

  • Health and Wellbeing Queensland dietitian Sherridan Cluff
  • Nutrition Australia chief executive officer Lucinda Hancock 

About us:

Health and Wellbeing Queensland is the state's prevention agency. Our focus is to reduce the impacts of chronic disease especially for those who are experiencing poor health due to circumstances beyond their control. We do that by working with government, communities and other sectors to change the environments people live in to help create a healthier and fairer Queensland.

Contact details:

Sarah Motherwell, Senior Media Advisor, Health and Wellbeing Queensland

Mobile: 0439 599 210


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