How to get more veggies into your diet.

This last week (11-17 October) my partner and I took part in Nutrition Australia’s “Try for 5” Challenge where we aimed to eat five serves of vegetables each day. The Department of Health recommends the Australian adult population eat at least five serves of vegetables a day (men aged 19-50 should aim for 6 serves, and lactating women should aim for 7.5 serves).

Sounds easy, right?! Well, I generally eat a lot of vegetables but the “Try for 5” Challenge made me realise that it's not always as easy as I originally thought! Some days the meals just passed me by and all of a sudden it was dinner time and I had only eaten two carrots! Yikes!

So - how can we get more vegetables into our diet?


  • Place baby spinach into your smoothie. Try the following combo: 250ml milk, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 TB cacao or cocoa, 1 TB nut paste, 1 generous handful of baby spinach, and a few ice cubes. I promise you will not taste the spinach!
  • If eating a cooked breakfast, add grilled tomato, zucchini, mushroom, and sautéed spinach.
  • Try rhubarb porridge.
  • Try savoury “porridge" dishes such as Asian congee. Look for recipes with added vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms and onion.
  • Cook-up flat pancakes or crepes and use them as wraps for meat and vegetables, eg: smoked salmon, asparagus and strips of roast pumpkin
  • Bake a frittata or quiche on the weekend and pack it with vegetables. Portion it out for quick breakfasts during the week.
  • Add chopped vegetables to scrambled eggs or omelettes.

Lunch and Dinner

Salad DOES NOT have to mean iceberg lettuce, carrot and cucumber. THAT combination is boring! Plus, it gives salads all round a bad rep! Make your salads interesting by:
  • Experimenting with different combinations of vegetables and salad items.
  • Adding meat and/or grains such as rice or quinoa.
  • Adding roasted or grilled vegetables to leafy salad greens (roast pumpkin, baby spinach and pine nuts is a winner).
  • Adding olives or sundried tomatoes or capers or dijon mustard to the mix...
  • Using herbs and spices.
  • Using Google! There are so many amazing salad recipes, salad wrap ideas, sandwich images and vegetable-lover websites to be found on the World Wide Web. Use search terms such as “salad bowl recipe” or “healthy wraps” or “grilled vegetable sandwich”.


  • Vegetable sticks and vegetable dips, eg: sliced carrot/celery/red capsicum served with hummus or beetroot dip, or carrot and chickpea dip.
  • Vegetable rice paper rolls
  • Deli meat (eg: roast beef slices) wrapped around cucumber sticks or prosciutto wrapped around grilled asparagus.
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixed with vegetables of your choice, eg: chopped cherry tomatoes, red onion, red capsicum, cucumber and back olives.
  • Veggie Smoothies - the options are endless! Check out Smoothie Web and Veggie Smoothie Recipes for some ideas. Blueberry and Broccoli smoothie, anyone?!
Most importantly, don't set yourself up for failure. If you decide you are going to add more vegetables into your day, set yourself a goal to add an extra one or two serves to start with. Practise this goal until it becomes habit and then set yourself another goal for an extra one or two serves. Soon enough you'll be smashing the five serves!!

Hannah, GCP Fitness Dietitian

If you’d like help incorporating more vegetables into your daily diet, or assistance with any other dietary matter, please check out my consultation options. I tailor all my suggestions and recommendations specifically to each individual client, so I promise I will not force-feed you cabbage if you hate it!

Examples of vegetable serves are pictured above. In regards to this image, if you made a salad with 1 cup of baby spinach leaves, half a medium potato and half a cup of chopped broccoli, you’d be eating three serves of vegetable.

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