Your Guide to Nutrition

University life can be a busy time balancing study, exams, social events and living on a limited budget.  Often nutritional needs can be overlooked or are a low priority for students.

A recent UON Student Healthy Lifestyles Survey found that almost 92% of our students surveyed do not eat adequate serves of vegetables per day and 46% do not eat adequate serves of fruit per day.

A healthy diet provides lots of benefits that can help maintain energy levels and concentration, perfect to help with study and exams. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight. There are lots of ways to make eating healthy easy and simple.

Simple nutrition tips ..

Eating healthy does not need to be time consuming or difficult. There are simple ways to provide a healthy diet including:

  • choose a wide variety of foods including grain foods, fruit and vegetables, lean meat/their alternatives and dairy/their alternatives
  • limit foods that are high in saturated fats such as pies, hot chips, pizza and sausage rolls
  • limit foods that are high in sugar (cakes, lollies, soft drink and energy drinks)
  • limit salt - do not add salt to cooking and read lables for low sodium options
  • drink plenty of water (drink at least 8 glasses of fluid each day -including water, tea, coffee, milk etc)

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating provides a simple illustration of the proportions of the five food groups for healthy eating. To meet the nutrient requirements essential for good health, a variety of foods from each of the five food groups should be consumed daily, in the recommended amounts.

Eat for Health provides detailed information on the 5 food groups and recommended daily serves.

Meal Planning

With a little planning, eating healthy meals on a limited budget can be achievable.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Plan your meals and make a shopping list
  • Limit takeaway foods as these can be expensive and high in fat and sugar
  • Vary your meals across the week. Makes life more interesting and ensures a good range of different nutrients.
  • Cook double the amount of food and use as leftovers the following day
  • Batch cook foods such as casseroles, curries and pasta dishes and freeze for later
  • Cook with friends - share the grocery bill
  • Buy meat in bulk and freeze in smaller portions for later use
  • Buy foods at local markets as they are often cheaper and fresher than  supermarkets

For more information on how to prepare healthy and cheap meals download our Student Sustainable Cookbook that has loads of tasty recipes and much more.

This webpage has been developed in partnership with Healthy UON and the UON Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics.