Healthy Eating at your Club | Community Clubs Victoria

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Healthy Eating at your Club

May 19, 2022 | ClubHub

If a member came to your club looking for a healthy meal option – would they find one on your menu? There’s no question that clubs do great parmas, but are clubs really catering for the entire community by also including nutritionally balanced choices? Or is it just easier to go down the basic fried food option?

Clubs have an opportunity to lead the way by ensuring they have healthy meal options that both look and taste great! 

This doesn’t mean a mass move to acai bowls, but when planning menu items, sometimes the easy option defaults to ‘same old, same old’. Creative chefs can make use of the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which details the recommended daily dietary intake of food groups, and how to build healthy sources of nutrition into menu items. Clubs could also look at adding nutritional information on their menus to promote healthy options for both children and adults.

This doesn’t mean you have to lose the fries, because we all know they will remain a requested staple of any club bistro, but swapping out half the serve of fries on a meal with a healthier selection, would not impact the appeal. It’s all about the balance. Nutrition Australia have a range of suggestions and recipes that will make it easier for chefs to modify existing menu items.

The Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing has reported that an estimated 2 in 3 Australians aged 18 and over were either overweight or obese (36% were overweight and a further 31% were obese). That’s around 12.5 million adults with potential health problems impacting them in the future, due to obesity!

Clubs have a positive role to play as influencers in their local communities, making it easier for members/patrons to make nutritious meal choices (especially for children). This extends to applying ‘nutritional thoughtfulness’ when creating and launching dishes for your next menu.

This approach should also extend to function catering, café options and tuck shops, ensuring a sufficient range of gluten-free or vegetarian options. 

Some great resources for catering managers and chefs are listed below for your reference.

Overweight and obesity: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/overweight-and-obesity

What are the Australian Dietary Guidelines: https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au/health-advice/what-are-australian-dietary-guidelines

Recipes from Nutrition Australia: https://nutritionaustralia.org/category/recipes/

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