Here is where I share my thoughts, ideas and opinions about the world of nutrition, food and health. I hope you find good sense, helpful guidance and inspiration to eat great healthy food that makes you feel good.

I write regularly for GI News, an online newsletter for 60,000+ Australasian and International subscribers interested in the glycemic index (GI) and associated health topics such as diabetes, weight loss and a healthy heart. It’s a great read.


09 Oct 2015

Happy healthy eating anecdotes

Posted by Nicole Senior on Friday, October 09, 2015

Two stories were shared with me this week that made me feel really good. We hear a lot about the evils of big food, and the media is awash with bad news stories about the state of our national diet, but this week I heard some good news.

The first story came from a playgroup mum whose 5 year old son is really switched on by the new Health Star Ratings. He loves using it, especially in the breakfast cereal aisle. When his sister chooses a cereal with one or two stars he objects and points her in the direction of cereals with more stars. And mum is pleasantly surprised by the number of cereals the kids like that also have 4 or 5 stars. It’s a fact that the breakfast cereal category has the highest take-up of the voluntary Health Star Rating system, making it easy to find healthier options in a very large and potentially confusing category. And this category is getting healthier all the time- there is no shortage of healthier options with 3.5 stars or more. And we know how important breakfast is for kids. Research tells us that cereal is the most popular breakfast choice among Australian children, and eating them is associated with diets higher in vitamins and minerals, a greater likelihood of meeting nutrient intakes, and a lower risk of being overweight. 

The second story came from another mum who spends a lot of time on the road with two under five year-old- boys. She was delighted that McDonald’s restaurant offered a children’s meal with a wrap, apple slices and water, with no chips or sugary drink. She said sometimes it’s just easier to eat in the car, and Macca’s is one of the few options available. To have healthy items on the menu was enough for her to text me about her triumph - and it made me smile to receive it. Sure, she and I know its better to eat a meal at the table with the whole family but in her busy life its sometimes a necessity to eat on the go, and fast food meets her needs on these occasions. Isn't it great there are now healthier fast foods available?

These two stories exemplify the progress being made in the Australian food supply: the development of healthier food products, and a useful and trustworthy front of pack labelling system to point people toward them in the supermarket.  I'm proud to say this work is being supported and enabled by dietitian colleagues. Yes, dietitians are working every day behind the scenes to bring you healthier food products, and then telling you about them in an honest and responsible way. It’s one of the things I do, and I love doing it knowing I am contributing toward a healthier food supply. The end game is making healthy choices available, and making them easy choices as well.