Healthy Intel Lunches – our new resource to promote nutrition among local government workers

Risk Matters - Summer 2024

LGIS has launched a new resource as part of its health and wellbeing program. The resource, called ‘Healthy Intel Lunches,’ is designed to improve the eating habits of local government workers, by providing valuable nutrition tips and advice, along with a variety of easy and healthy recipes. Our main goal is to help employees in the sector maintain high energy levels throughout their busy and demanding workdays, whilst continuing to improve overall wellbeing and lifestyles among the sector via our prevention and wellbeing services.

The LGIS program aims to provide a proactive approach to improve awareness and lower risk factors in the area of health and wellbeing and assist members in creating healthy workplaces.

This in turn can help improve workers’ safety performance, general health and wellbeing as well as reduce workers’ compensation claims.

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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has recently released a health research – ‘Healthy Diet Score report’, which talks about the dietary habits of Aussie adults. The research is based on the results of 235,000 participants over an eight-year period between 2015 and 2023.
It states that Australian adults scored an average of 55 out of 100.

It is interesting to note that the average discretionary food consumption by Aussies was about 28 serves per week. Alcohol, cakes and biscuits, chocolate and confectionary, and takeaway foods were among the top contributors to this discretionary intake.

“Although Australians are often perceived as fit and healthy, the low collective score shows that we just meet the pass mark when it comes to adopting the national dietary recommendations. The score is a stark reminder of the work that needs to be done to improve our eating habits and reduce the national waistline,” said Dr Gilly Hendrie, CSIRO research scientist and co-author of the report. To eat well, your diet should have a balance of good quality lean proteins, an abundance of fruit and vegetables in a variety of colours, fibre rich wholegrains or grain alternatives and healthy sources of fat.

Research has established that including all macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) in the appropriate amount and frequency may have a positive impact on our health, energy, longevity and most importantly our ability to prevent disease.

We have sourced our recipes from our monthly Healthy Intel newsletters, which also include tips and tricks to improve overall health.

James Larkin, WorkCare Services Manager at LGIS is of the view that healthy eating is an essential component when trying to improve or maintain good health and wellbeing, but lunches can be difficult to get right. Whether we are low on time, motivation or healthy food options, sometimes lunch can be the forgotten meal in our day and convenience often takes over, particularly when we get busy during the day. LGIS has been providing members with monthly recipes in our Healthy Intel newsletter for over eight years, and we have now created a new resource which helps local government staff to make healthier food choices and improve eating habits.

Our new recipe guide provides a range of lunch options and tips for getting a balanced diet whilst managing a busy lifestyle, and I encourage all members to utilise this resource for your local government.

– James Larkin, WorkCare Services Manager at LGIS

Along with the recipes, the guide also includes varied pantry solutions (like at-home and at-work pantry ideas) for workers who find it difficult to do meal preps owing to their busy lifestyle. Afterall, it’s easier to plan and prepare healthy and tasty lunches when you’re organised.

The ‘Australian Guide to Healthy eating’, is also an excellent tool that shows how much of each food group is recommended.

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