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Nutrition and Breastfeeding Articles

‘It is hard to know what to believe with so much conflicting nutrition
information. ​I provide you with the latest evidence-based facts.’


Seasonal eating

Humans have lived according to the seasons for millennia. Seasonal eating is better for the environment as buying local, seasonal vegetables reduces food miles (i.e. how far the food has travelled to get to your plate), it is also more economical for a family. Transportation and additional packaging contribute to carbon emissions. Also, seasonal food tastes sensational. Why not take along reusable produce bags on your next grocery shop and try fresh spring produce:


Green Beans
Snow peas
Spring onions

By Emma McShane, Dietitian, September 2022

6 steps to reduce your family’s plastic waste

Plastic waste is affecting our main and freshwater ecosystem globally. One study suggests that 19 to 23 million metric tons entered our aquatic ecosystems in 2016. Waste in our oceans poses a great threat to our aquatic wildlife, which get caught up in plastic bags or attempt to eat plastics. Small steps to reduce plastic in a household can help to reduce the amount entering our aquatic ecosystems.

More sustainable living doesn’t mean having to change your entire lifestyle, as this can be daunting and to be quite frank, a very large task! Small, attainable steps to a more sustainable lifestyle make a huge difference at a broader level.

Here are some tips to reduce plastic waste:
1.Use glass containers to store food
   – Dry spices, and grains can be stored in glass jars.
   – Glass containers can be bought and used for food leftovers.
   – There are many shops that reduce food packaging by using ‘serve yourself’ boxes e.g. bulk flour that you scoop in your own container. An example of one of these shops is ‘The Source bulk food store’ available in various locations around Australia.
   – Try to avoid single use serves, buy foods in larger quantities and decant into smaller containers.

2. Grocery Bags Supermarkets are making positive steps to reduce plastic waste by banning single-use plastic bags. You can also move away from plastic bags for fresh fruit and veg, perhaps try reusable cotton bags instead. Try keeping some in your car for those last minute grocery runs!

3. Beeswax wraps Instead of using plastic cling wrap to cover food, try using other options instead, such as beeswax wraps, which can be reused (over 6-12 months) and simply cleaned in hot, soapy water. Beeswax wraps are made from organic ingredients that use materials that would often be wasted post use. Purchase some from our friends, here: (not sponsored) @littlebumblewraps
Or, simply cover bowls and dishes with a clean plate – simple!

4. Keep cups Single-use coffee cups go straight into landfill and are a major contribution to the world’s waste. If you love a takeaway coffee, why not bring along a keep cup. As a bonus, many cafes offer a discount if you BYO cup. Keep one at home, the office and car, to cover all bases. Or, take 10 minutes and enjoy a quiet coffee at your local cafe.

5. Reusable water bottles
Reusable water bottles are a simple way to reduce the use of single use plastic water bottles, which contribute to landfill. We are so lucky in Australia to have safe drinking water, a glass & tap will do! Keep a bottle at home, work & in the car. Water is the healthiest option and may save you reaching for a soft drink or juice.

​6. Soft plastic recycling Sometimes it is hard to completely avoid plastics and that is okay, as a society we will gradually move towards this. Did you know that you can recycle soft plastics at the supermarket? These include bread bags, cat and dog food pouches, cereal box liners, frozen food bags, pasta bags, and zip lock bags. They are recycled into outdoor furniture, signage, roads and concrete.

By Emma McShane, Dietitian, September 2022

5 steps to sustainable food choices

Follow these 4 small steps to make sustainable food choices, to save money and make a positive change to our environment:

  1. Reduce food waste

–  Be prepared. Meal plan your week to ensure you are only buying the ingredients you will need and use.

–  Be savvy with your storage; freeze leftovers, store spices and pantry items in airtight containers and jars, freeze fruit and vegetables to use at a later date for smoothies or soups.

–  Leftovers become handy lunches, so use containers and take any food to work the next day.

–  Use sustainable food wrapping e.g. beeswax to cover food rather than plastic.

–  Be savvy with your food, use all aspects of fruits and vegetables, or start your own composting or feed to the animals.

     2.Frozen vs Fresh

Fresh doesn’t always mean better. Frozen fruit and vegetables are just as nutritious and make food preparation easier. Frozen food lasts longer leading to reduced food wastage. Frozen fruit and vegetables are cheaper, and means that non-seasonal vegetables can be consumed all year long if needed.

     3.Meal planning

As briefly touched on before, meal planning can help to reduce wastage and help to reduce excess landfill entering our environment.

–  Plan your week of meals, and write a list before going shopping[NB2] .

–  Only buy the amount you need and will use, this can be done by using recipes with specific measurements.

–  Use frozen items from your freezer in your cooking, to prevent food build-up in your freezer.

–  Check your pantry, freezer and fridge before shopping so you don’t double up.

     4.Avoid excess plastic packaging

–  Use material reusable shopping bags, and leave some in your car as this can help with those last minute ingredient pick-up at the supermarket!

–  Small mesh bags can be used instead of plastic bags when buying fruit and vegetables.

–  Try choosing fruit and vegetables that are free from plastic in the supermarket i.e. not already packaged.
Make sure you check out upcoming article for more alternative plastic packaging ideas.

     5.Limit takeaway meals

Take-away can be a quick, easy meal every now and then, but they provide limited nutrition. They also provide excessive amounts of packaging, we may over order, further contributing to food waste. If you are choosing takeaway meals, choose only the amount you will consume and take your own packaging e.g. a container to collect your food!

Additional resource.

By Emma McShane, Dietitian, September 2022

Meat and the environment: small steps matter

The planet’s population is increasing, therefore meat intake continues to rise. Livestock production has negative effects on our environment as meat produces more energy emission per unit than plant-based foods, and livestock production produces methane, affecting the earth’s temperature and climate.

There is no need to cut out meat entirely, however reducing the amount of meat your family consumes is beneficial for the environment and overall health.

Try slowly reducing the amount of meat you eat by implementing one meat-free night per week and then slowly building this up, aiming for 3-4 meat free days per week. You may be asking, what can I eat instead?

Meat substitutes include:
–   Legumes; lentils, chickpeas, butter beans
–   Tofu & tempeh
–   Vegetables e.g. mushrooms, eggplant
–   Cheese e.g. paneer, ricotta
–   Egg

Try this easy roast vegetable recipe, simply add a drained can of chickpeas for a balanced meal.

If reducing your meat consumption is not for you and/or your family at the moment, there are some meats that are considered more sustainable than others. Kangaroo is a high protein, lean meat that requires less feed and water during production than other meats, sustainably caught fish is also another good option. If choosing chicken, try buying free-range. Grass fed beef isn’t necessarily better for the environment overall, given the demand for this has increased over the last few years. Or try adding a can of lentils to your bolognaise to boost plant intake and make the meal go further.

By Emma McShane, Dietitian (edited by Nicole Bando, APD, IBCLC), September 2022