Hello October

Welcome to another edition of the Healthy Together Wodonga e-newsletter.

This month we're all about the healthy options, and looking after your mental health.

Healthy barbecue options on the menu


Summer is just around the corner and for many of us that means barbecues!

A simple, traditional Aussie barbie usually consists of sausages, white bread and tomato sauce. But this meal is not only low in fibre, but also high in saturated fat, oil and salt.

Healthy Together Wodonga has developed a Healthy Barbecue Guide to help you make easy changes and offer more nutritious options at your next barbecue.

The guide includes healthy menu ideas and basic catering tips.

It also includes a cheat sheet offering seven easy tips for a healthier barbecue.

Some of these tips include:

  • Using herbs and spices to flavour meats instead of salt;
  • Adding grated vegetables to lean meat patties;
  • Using wholegrain breads, rolls and pitabread instead of plain white varieties;
  • Serving water instead of soft drink and fruit juice;
  • Adding sliced watermelon to the menu; and,
  • If using sausages and patties, asking your butcher for reduced-fat and salt-reduced options.

Copies of the Healthy Barbecue Guide are available from Wodonga Council or online here.

Break your sugary drink habit

Sugar calculator

Did you know that the average Australian soft drink consumer guzzles a 375ml can of soft drink every day?

Per year, that’s almost 15kg of excess sugar your body doesn’t need.

Sports drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks or soft drinks – when you drink too many sugary drinks, that sugar gets turned into fat, which can lead to toxic fat and increase your risk of some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

LiveLighter is encouraging all Victorians to break their sugary drink habit and reduce the amount of toxic fat around their vital organs.

Instead of reaching for a sugary drink, follow these tips and start to LiveLighter today:

  • Avoid going down the soft drink aisle at the supermarket and beware of the specials at the checkout and service stations.
  • If you're eating out, don't go with the default soft drink – see what other options there are, or just ask for water.
  • Carry a water bottle, so you don't have to buy a drink if you're thirsty. 
  • Be wary of health or nutrition claims on drinks. Producers try to make their beverages sound healthier than they are, so check the amount of sugar on the nutrition panel and consider the size of the bottle.
  • Use the LiveLighter Sugary Drinks Calculator to see how much sugar your favourite drink contains, how much exercise is required to burn off your sugary drink habit and how many litres you’re drinking each year.
  • Learn more about sugary drinks on the LiveLighter website.

World Food Day

Thrifty Cook

World Food Day was held this Friday, October 16 to raise awareness about hunger.

The Dietitians Association of Australia called on its foodie members to submit budget-friendly recipes to create a thrifty cook book.

All recipes were calculated at less than $5 per serve using an online supermarket in August 2015.

To download your copy of The Thrifty Cook book click here The Thrifty Cook.

Pick right, feel bright!


Will you take the pledge to eat more veg?

Nutrition Australia is challenging residents to “pick right” and “feel bright” by eating five serves of vegetables during National Nutrition Week this week.

Recent statistics show that nearly 95 per cent of Australians do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables.

In fact, the average Aussie eats less than half what they should, yet around one third of what we do eat is confectionery, takeaway foods, cakes, sweets and sugary drinks.

“Whether they’re fresh, frozen or canned, eating more lovely, colourful vegetables is one of the simplest things we can all do for better health and wellbeing,” said Lucinda Hancock, Accredited Nutritionist and CEO of Nutrition Australia Vic Division.

“Vegetables burst with flavour and they're packed full of important vitamins and minerals, disease-fighting antioxidants and gut-healthy fibre.

“And they're so versatile because you can eat them any way you like - raw, cooked, baked, mashed, chopped, sliced and diced.”

For more information click here.

10,000 Steps Challenge


Congratulations to our local businesses who are halfway through the 10,000 Steps Challenge with Healthy Together Wodonga.

The challenge aims to reduce sedentary behaviour in the workplace by encouraging staff members to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

The local participating teams have so far recorded enough steps to pass Mt Isa, Queensland in the Step Out competition.

We hope they keep up the good work to make it all the way around Australia!

Mental Health Month


The importance of maintaining a healthy mind continues to be in the spotlight as Healthy Together Wodonga marks Mental Health Month throughout October.

The campaign, coinciding with Mental Health Day on October 10, serves as a timely reminder for everyone to think about the mental health of themselves and others, and to make it a priority in everyday life.

A number of events are being held in Wodonga throughout the month including:

Anti Poverty Dinner - 6pm to 9pm on Friday, October 16

Hosted by Albury Wodonga Emergency Food Relief Providers Network and Wodonga Council Youth Leadership Program at The Cube Wodonga. This event raises awareness of ordinary individuals and groups doing extraordinary things against poverty.

Border Relay for Life - 9.30am on Saturday, October 24 to 9.30am on Sunday, October 25

Border Relay for Life is a chance for the Albury-Wodonga community to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers, to honour and remember loved ones lost to cancer and to raise money to help save more lives. To be held at the Alexandra Park Sports Precinct, Albury.

Albury Wodonga WorkSafe event - 9.30am to 3.30pm on Thursday, October 29

Hosted by Regional Safety, Health and Environment Group at Huon Hill Hotel. The event’s theme is ‘Be Safe, Be Healthy’.

Online child nutrition and cooking course

Child cooking

Anyone wanting to learn more about contemporary child nutrition and the impact it can have over a lifetime should check out this online course offered by Coursera.

The course examines what constitutes a healthy diet for children and adults, and offers advice on how to prepare simple, home-cooked meals that are healthy and delicious.

The health risks associated with obesity in childhood are also discussed.

Further information is found here.

Supporting children’s independence to increase their physical activity


Teaching children to be independently mobile helps them to be physically active, but sometimes parental concern can be a barrier to children playing and traveling on their own.

This month, VicHealth released a report into the impact of parental fear on children’s independence and physical activity. The report on the three-year study, commissioned to researchers at La Trobe University and the Parenting Research Centre, found children who were able to play and travel without an adult and those who walked or cycled to school were more likely to meet Australian physical activity guidelines.

The report also revealed that parents living in metropolitan areas and parents of girls were more likely to have child safety fears – including general fear and fear relating to strangers.

Accompanying the report is a practical guide for parents to help children get around safely on their own.

Read more here.

SiSU health station coming to Wodonga Council offices!


Thanks to the Wodonga YMCA, the city offices located in Hovell St will host the SiSU health station, a free, easy to use, self-serve way to get instant health results.

The station checks your blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, BMI and body fat percentage. All of this is then conveniently emailed to you to track your health!

You can compare yourself to people your age, learn how to imrpove your health score and save your results to track your progress in your personal online record.

It will be located at the Wodonga Council city offices from Monday, October 26 to Friday, October 30.