Product Review:Tinned fruit



Price: $4.07 / 415g ($0.98 / 100g)

Nutrition: per 70mL serve: Energy = 271kJ; Sugar = 10.3g; Sodium = 10mg.

Verdict: Canned varieties should be drained as most of the sugar is contained in the liquid. Opt for ‘In Juice’ over ‘In Syrup’.

You might have guessed now that some canned fruits are more appealing than others, a can of peaches is far more appealing than strawberries for example. The point is that there’s no reason not to incorporate things like canned peaches and canned/frozen blueberries when the fresh stuff is out of season or out of your price range. Remember that you could be doing your body a favour if theses are fruits you usually aren’t eating. We need to be consuming a variety of colours!


In The News This Week …




Scientists from Sweden believe they have found the gene responsible for the ‘unhealthy’ fat in the body. It may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. If verified this will be “the first time someone has identified a gene that may cause malfunctioning adipose tissue in man.” It is hoped that the finding will lead to new drug treatments for diabetes.




The ACCC is taking the Australian Egg Corp. Twelve Oaks Poultry, and Farm Pride to court over suspected egg-price cartel. The Australian Egg Corp. allegedly held an emergency meeting to address over-supply. The ACCC alleges that there was no ‘over-supply’ and that actions following the meeting could have increased egg prices.


A farmer using GM (genetically modified) crops won a landmark WA Supreme Court case. The man had been sued by his neighbour, a certified organic farmer, for damages resulting from the spread of GM canola crops. Important factors in the case included that: GM crops cannot contaminate other crops easily, even when blown into adjacent fields by the wind, and that the GM farmer had not intentionally harmed his neighbours crops, property, or business.




A new global survey has found that 1 in 3 Australians is now obese and that rates have soared up 80% over the last three decades.

‘ “Waiting for a cure is not possible,” says Rob Moodie, the professor of public health at the University of Melbourne. ”The public health system will be crushed by the obesity crisis and the rise in cancer, heart disease and diabetes.” ‘

The increases are likely due to great resistance from food manufacturers and inaction from Government on front of packaging label and its halted star rating system.




ANGRY Muslims in Malaysia demand a Jihad, or holy war, be declared on confectionary company Cadbury and their parent company after traces of pig DNA were found.

Herb tofu and avocado toast



Don’t make this recipe. I mean it. By the time you’ve diced the veg, torn up the herbs and pulsed the tofu it’ll be all over. Seriously it’s not even worth preparing, you’ll have no gossip for your friends (or the odd frenemy) about how you were slaving in the kitchen to make this masterpiece.

There’ll be no excuse for you to break out into a tragically unbelievable anecdote about how you saved the ingredients at the last minute from the perils of a fancifully complicated yet apparently incomplete recipe, which had been slowly guiding you over a cliff (and your ingredients in the bin!). Using your sheer instincts (in my case since I lack skill/experience) you add a special ingredient or tweak the recipe which pulls everything together to once again save the tastebuds of the people of Townsville from evil. Oh what we aren’t in a cartoon? *Yeah I watched the ‘Powerpuff Girls’ as a kid*.

I don’t know about you, but I love being the hero. Cooking gets a bit boring (and difficult) and even though there are much better experienced and qualified people around me, I hate to ask for help. I’m trying to use this blog to develop and modify recipes for simplicity and taste while shedding as many excess kilojoules as I can from them. I think thats what this recipe is. I got It from Donna Hay’s ‘Fresh and Light’ book. 

Now that I’ve tasted it I’m going to consider some balsamic over the top next time. It tastes great btw! The lime juice is a must and works majestically with the chilli.


150g silken tofu (I used to other kind and it turned out okay)

mint and basil leaves about 1 Cup each (crush/tear/shred after measuring not before, that would be way too much!)

Heavy multi-grain bread (I didn’t have any, so I’ve used white bread. Also I have braces at the moment, grains and braces don’t get along well!)

1 avocado

cherry tomatoes (I diced a whole tomato. I wish I had a packed of medley cherry toms!)

lime juice

1 long red chilli (deseeded) cut into thin long strips. You could use carrot instead, if you don’t like chilli. (I’ve used chilli powder instead)


Blend tofu and half the herbs with some pepper in a food processor. 

spread mix over toast. 

Build with avocado, tomato, and remaining herbs. Top with juice and chilli/carrot.

Until next time 


Please remember that I’m a dietetics STUDENT, so none of my opinions should be trusted! PLEASE consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) or your GP before applying anything discussed in this blog to your diet or exercise regime


Product Review: Mexican Tortilla Soup


soupPrice: $3.50 / 400g ($ 0.88 / 100g)


Brand: Hansells All Natural

The New Zealand parent company of Alfa One, Aunt Betty’s, Hansells, Real Yoghurt, Vitafresh, Vitasport, Pane Toscano, Sucaryl and others. They’re best and originally known for their traditional steamed puddings, sold under the Aunt Betty’s brand in New Zealand and Australia.



Per serve: 697Kj Energy, 6.5g Protein, 3.9g fat, 26.3g Carbs, 5.2g Sugar, 6.8g Fibre, 820mg Sodium


Verdict: Firstly let me say how frustrating it is to see a product containing two serves which must be used immediately. What if I’m eating alone? Or what if my eating buddy doesn’t like Mexican Tortilla Soup in a pouch? The pouch really should be re-sealable. Of course I could decant half the packet into a container for refrigeration, but if I were able to put in that much effort I wouldn’t be eating pre-prepared soup now would I!

Other than the obvious shortcomings of the packaging, this product is delicious! Hansells lose points for excessive salt however. The excessive salt is especially a problem when you decide to eat the whole packet. I fate forced upon me by the people who decided against putting a seal on the pouch for reuse.


This Week’s Nutrition News (Week Starting Tuesday 22 April)




Tuesday: The Australian, ABC News Online.

Abbott’s $6 GP visits have been confirmed in the upcoming budget. There will be a maximum yearly fee of $72 over 12 visits. This would include chronic disease patients such as people living with diabetes.


At the same time “speculation has been mounting that the local health bodies, which were set up under the Rudd government in a $1.8 billion initiative to organise community-specific health programs, will be scrapped in next month’s budget”. So what would be left? Centralised health care which at the moment offers nothing for people who are rural or isolated. There is also concern over the a number of health-related jobs that would be lost.


Wednesday: ABC News Online

Eastern Australia will experience hotter and drier weather this wheat-season due to El Nino patterns according to global models. 70% of El Ninos have resulted in draught for Australian. “Luke Matthews, agricultural commodity researcher with the Commonwealth Bank, says it’s likely to reduce farm output and exports this year, with wheat crops in eastern Australia worst affected.” – ABC News Online. West and south Australian wheat yields have typically not been affected by El Nino events.



Saturday: SMH Online

While the two major supermarkets duke out their food battle in the media spotlight, other battles which are far more important are being fought behind the scenes.


One such example is the Gluten-free market which currently caters for fad dieters and more importantly for people living with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. Manufacturers are being forced to use expensive and highly sensitive tests in order to use the “nil gluten detected” and “gluten free” labels, but argue that the need for such sensitivity has been driven by technological advances rather than medical ones. For instance 20ppm is medically safe yet the gluten free label requires less than 3ppm present (the threshold for current detection equipment).


It is feared that by not relaxing labelling laws manufacturers will leave the market. The“…debate coincides with concerns that gluten-free diets are being widely embraced by people who have no medical need to follow the regimen.” It may be the use of products by these people which keepS the market afloat.
Read more:



Food in Aged Care


Aged Care Nutrition: Fed Up and Inconveniently Alive

Jack Beattie-Bowers (Dietitian)

Ten dollars a day. That’s the figure discussed by dietitians as the likely amount spent by some aged care homes on each resident’s nutrition.

The basic daily fee paid by all residents living in Australian Government subsidised homes is $47.15 and is meant to cover the costs of meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling. Yet operators are also in the market to make a profit, and the actual proportion of the fee going towards these services is unclear. The basic daily fee is set to rise on 20 March in line with changes to the aged pension.

Unsurprisingly, the figure leaves little room for managers “to inject soul into menu design, to put pleasure back into food service and to give older people joy through their palette”. That’s a quote from 2010 Senior Australian of the year, Maggie Beer who has campaigned for awareness over equal rights for people in residential aged care. Beer goes as far as to say ““I’d rather shoot myself than be in [some facilities] eating the food on offer”, and I’m inclined to agree.

Paradoxically, the most vulnerable people in our population, who would benefit most from an injection of fun onto their plate and into their lives, are being served boring, bland, processed and pre-packaged medically approved foods. What they need is food that is familiar but diverse, fun but nutritious. That is how I like my food anyway, and contrary to what you might think, the eating habits of 80 year olds are not all that different to younger people.

Although some aged care residents need their meals to be texture modified (that is, for their food to be softened or mashed), not all of them do; a variety of textures can and should typically be served.

The reality is far more disappointing.

If you thought hospital food is bad, think again; you’ll be craving it if you end up in an old folks home. Hospitals have tougher and clearer regulations around colour, variety, and enjoyment. Put simply, Australia’s residential aged care regulatory framework is weak and piecemeal when it comes to nutrition.

The current guidelines state expectations broadly and non-specifically, presumably to protect the bottom-line of struggling facilities. They also fail to provide a model on how to achieve their targets. Nutrition is just one of the many concerns for our elderly, and in my opinion, stakeholders would be better served with a national nutrition standard embedded in a greater framework for aged care health.

As the Dietitians’ Association of Australia reminds us, the problem then is how to achieve menus which focus on meeting the nutritional needs of individual in terms of local supply and the financial capacity of the facility.

While the choice appears to be one of morality, duty, and responsibility, without funds an excellent menu can only be implemented with excellent staff willing to work above their requirements. There is evidence that the current approach has been fairly unsuccessful with the prevalence of malnutrition in residential aged care facilities between 32-72%. It is apparent that these businesses would do better with clear succinct guidelines.

Currently, dietitians must create their own regulatory standards, and carry no legal might beyond their station as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian. We must hope that aged care homes see the sense in consulting with dietitians who may suggest a plethora of improvements and menu renovations, beyond the requirements of current regulations. Spending money in this way will have a direct influence on the happiness and end of life care of our elderly.

Two deaths reported in September 2014, one of which involved malnutrition and dehydration, prompted Alzheimer’s Australia and the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants’ Association to propose a royal commission into the accreditation process for residential aged care facilities. Despite these calls the facilities who have allegedly neglected their clients have retained their full accreditation and no action has been taken. Society has to decide what a human life is worth. It is certainly worth more than just being alive.




Product Review: Sesame Bar


sesame bar

Product: Sesame Bar $0.90 /  45g ($ 2.00/ 100g)

Brand: Edens

A mystery as the company seems to have no online presence. If anyone knows about this company, please comment!



Each bar gives 728kj Energy, 2.5g Protein, 8.3g Fat, 20.8g sugar, 1.5g fibre, and 43mg sodium

Half a bar gives 364kj Energy, 1.25g Protein, 4.15g Fat, 10.4g sugar, 0.75g fibre, and 21mg sodium


Verdict: An old favorite which has been a joy to review. I hadn’t had one in about a year, I forgot how much I love them! While the bar is considered a single serve, it gives quite a lot of energy. I suggest eating it in two halves. Oh and another thing, if you’re unfortunate enough to have braces on your teeth as I do maybe cut it up first! I’m also pretty sure this isn’t a dentist-friendly product either, being quite sticky and sugary.

 The low sodium is a plus but the high sugar is a minus