VHEE fruit & veg resource hub

Nutrition Australia Vic Division coordinates a network of organisations that work towards improving the supply and consumption of fruit and vegetables in Victoria.

It's called the Victorian Healthy Eating Enterprise (VHEE) Fruit and Vegetable Network

This resource hub is a collection of key resources for Victorian health and health promotion professionals.

These resources can be used in your work towards increasing the supply and/or consumption of fruit and vegetables in our state.

The resource hub includes links to credible, current and relevant information to support consistent messaging and evidence-based practise in Victoria. It has been compiled by Nutrition Australia Vic Division.

For more information about this resource hub or the VHEE Fruit & Vegetables Network, contact Kirsten Burge at kburge@nutritionaustralia.org

Click a link below to jump to a section

1) Guidelines

2) Evidence

3) Resources



Key recommendations for the supply and consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Resource description Key information Image
Australian Dietary Guidelines
National Health and Medical Research Council, 2013

The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing.

Recommended daily serves:

2-3 yrs = 2.5
4-8 yrs = 4.5
9+ = 5-6
Breastfeeding women = 7.5

2-3 yrs = 1
4-8 yrs = 1.5
All other ages (incl pregnant & breastfeeding) = 2


Healthy Food Charter
Department of Health & Human Services, 2013

The Healthy Food Charter is a guide for all those working in partnership with the Victorian Government to improve the health of Victorians through food.

This charter provides the key healthy eating messages to be consistently delivered to the community and will assist individuals or groups spearheading healthy change.

Relevant recommendations include:
- Use seasonal fresh produce whenever possible
- Include at least one serve of fruit or vegetables in every breakfast
- Include at least two serves of vegetables in every lunch and dinner
- Include fruit or vegetables in every snack or dessert


Healthy Choices framework
Victorian Department of Health & Human Services, 2010

Healthy Choices is a framework for providing healthier foods and drinks choices in:

  • hospitals and health services (retail outlets)
  • workplaces
  • sport and recreation centres
  • parks and recreational reserves
Fresh fruit and vegetables are in the GREEN category, which should make up at least 50% of the total menu.

Some processed fruit and vegetable products are in the AMBER category which should be consumed in moderation.


Menu planning guidelines for early childhood services
Healthy Eating Advisory Service, 2013

Menu planning guidelines and supporting resources for long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and for babies 6-12 months in care.

Fruit and vegetables are recommended in amounts that support adequate consumption in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.


School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2012

Helps schools offer a variety of nutritious foods and drinks in canteens, vending machines, classroom/curriculum activities, sports days, special events, external lunch order services from milk bars or breakfast clubs.

Fresh fruit & vegetables are in the Everyday (green) category, which should make up at least 50% of the total menu.

Some processed fruit & vegetable products in the Select Carefully (amber) category which should be consumed in moderation.



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Benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption

Resource description Key information Image
Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies
Wang et al, 2014

Systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.

Higher fruit & veg consumption associated with a reduced risk of mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease.

An increase of 1 serve of fruit a day reduces risk of:
- all-cause mortality by 6%
- CVD by 5%

An increase of 1 serve of vegetables a day reduces risk of:
- all cause mortality by 5%
- CVD by 4%

An increase of 1serve of fruit and vegetable combined aday reduces risk of:
- all-cause mortality by 5%
- CVD by 4%

With a threshold at around 5 servings a day, after which there was no further reduction in risk.

Journal article

Position statement: fruit, vegetables and cancer prevention
National Cancer Control Policy, Cancer Council Australia, 2014

Outlines the role of fruit and vegetables in cancer prevention. Includes key messages, background, rationale, relevant reports and evidence.

- “fruit and vegetables are high in nutrients that are potentially protective against cancer.”
- “…fruit and vegetables may also protect against cancer indirectly by helping to maintain a healthy body weight.”
- “There does not seem to be an association between fruit and vegetable consumption and prostate or breast cancer.”


fruit and vegetable intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies
Li et al, 2014

A meta-analysis of 10 articles, including 13 comparisons, to assess the relative risk of type 2 diabetes with increased fruit, vegetables and green leafy vegetables.

- Described as "the largest systematic review and meta-analysis on the intake of fruit and vegetables and risk of type 2 diabetes".

- “Higher fruit or green leafy vegetables intake is associated with a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Journal article

fruit and vegetables consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies
Hu et al, 2014

Meta-analysis of 20 prospective cohort studies to summarize evidence on the association of fruit and vegetables consumption with the risk of stroke.

- The risk of stroke decreases by 32% for every 200g per day increment in fruit consumption.

- The risk of stroke decreases by 11% for every 200g per day increment in vegetables consumption.

Journal article

The impact of increasing vegetable consumption on health expenditure

Deloitte Access Economics, 2016

Deloitte were commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia to model the impact of increased vegetable consumption on Australian health expenditure.

Government health expenditure would reduce by:

- $99.9 million if vegetable consumption in Australia were 10% higher

- $58.0 million if male consumption of vegetables equalled that of females

Australian vegetables producers would receive:

- $23 million in additional profit if consumption were 10% higher

- $11 million if average consumption of vegetables by males were equal to that of females



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Fruit and vegetable consumption data

Resource description Key information Image
National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15, Daily intake of fruit and vegetables (Australia)
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015

The latest self-reported average daily intake of fruit and vegetables in line with the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines

Adults (19+):
- 50% eat the recommended amount of fruit
- 7% eat enough vegetables
- 5% eat enough of both fruit and veg

Children (2-18):
- 68% eat enough fruit
- 5% eat enough vegetables.
- 5% eat enough of both fruit and veg.

Web page

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013

Daily fruit and vegetable intake of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI), in line with 2013 Guidelines.

Includes ATSI in private dwellings in remote and non-remote Australia, as well as discrete ATSI communities.

- 43% ATSI people 15+ years ate adequate fruit (7% lower than Aus average)
- 5% of ATSI people 15+ years ate adequate veg (2% lower than Aus average)
- ATSI people eat 24% less fruit and 20% less veg than non-indigenous people = nearly 25kg less fruit and veg over a year.
- ATSI people in remote areas were more likely to have an adequate fruit intake than those in non-remote areas (49% to 41%).

Web page

Victorian Population Health Survey 2011-2012: Selected findings (adults)
Department of Health & Human Services, 2014

A survey of 34,000 Victorian residents 18+ by local government area.

Includes Victorians’ fruit and vegetable consumption according to sex, age and Department of Health region in comparison to the 2003 Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Note: the 2015 Victorian Population Health Survey is currently underway.

- 5% of Victorian adults; 3.2% of men; 7% of women consume recommended daily intakes of BOTH fruit & veg
- 51% Victorian adults; 56.9% men; 45.5% women do not meet either guideline.
- 45.4% of Victorian adults; 40% men, 50.5% women get recommended fruit serves/day (slightly lower than Aus adult average)
- 7.1% Victorian adults; 4.3% men; 9.6% women get recommended veg serves/day (same as Aus adult average)

PDF report



Factors affecting fruit and vegetable sales and consumption

Resource description Key information Image
Bump the Junk
Healthy Choices, Healthy Futures (Government of Western Australia)

11-page brochure with tips and insights to increase healthy food and drink consumption in retail food outlets.

- Reducing the price of fruit and vegetables can increase consumption 4 fold.
- Doubling the shelf space for fresh fruit can increase sales by 44%
- Offering more than one vegetable in a buffet can significantly increase vegetable consumption.

PDF report

Influence of price discounts and skill-building strategies on purchase and consumption of healthy food and beverages: outcomes of the Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life randomized controlled trial
Ball et al, 2015

The effect of price reduction on healthy food purchases.

A 20% reduction in price of fruit and veg = increased purchasing per household of 35% for fruit and 15% for vegetables.

Journal article

The impact of a school-based gardening intervention on the intentions and behaviour related to fruit and vegetable consumption in children
Duncan et al, 2015

Study looking at effect of a 12-week school gardening programme on fruit and veg consumption in a UK school. 46 children undertake program, 31 controls

The intervention group increased daily consumption of fruits and vegetables and increased intentions, attitudes, norms and perceived behavioural control related to fruit and veg consumption.

Journal article

Aboriginal Community Food Program Success Stories: Sharing the Tracks to Good Tucker
VACCHO and SecondBite, 2015

Successful food programs for improving the health of Aboriginal communities throughout Australia, including increased access to fruit and vegetables.

Programs include:
- community gardens
- community BBQs
- playgroup lunches
- a yarning circle program
- food sharing
- FoodBanks
- breakfast clubs
- community kitchens

PDF report

Community perceptions of food selection and the path to a healthy diet
Medibank, 2015

Medibank report on factors influencing food selection, perception of a healthy diet, and opportunities and barriers to a healthier diet.

When shopping for fruit and vegetables, females and older shoppers are more likely to be influenced by seasonality and cost.

PDF report

Closing the nutrition and physical activity gap in Victoria: Victorian Aboriginal nutrition & physical activity strategy
VACCHO, 2009

A plan developed by the VACCHO Nutrition team, in consultation with all of the Aboriginal Community Controlled health Organisations (ACCHOs) in Victoria, as well as key stakeholders such as Aboriginal Elders.

- “For indigenous Australians, the biggest health gains can be achieved by tackling smoking, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, high cholesterol, excessive alcohol consumption, high blood pressure and insufficient fruit and vegetable intake.”
- strategies involve:
- lowering the cost of fresh fruit and veg ‘through local co-ops, mobile market stalls and delivery services.’
- community gardens which increase fruit & veg consumption, ‘and improve people’s nutrition knowledge and dietary behaviours’
- Low fruit and veg intake accounts for 3% of the disease burden and 5% of the health gap in ATSI peoples


Feeding our Future: Aboriginal Early Childhood Nutrition and Physical Activity Needs Assessment Report
VACCHO and Royal Children’s Hospital, 2011

Needs assessment that consulted with Victorian Aboriginal Health Workers and other health and early childhood practitioners working within Aboriginal settings, and parents in urban and rural areas.

- Practitioners expressed concern over low intakes of fruit and veg.
- The rising cost of fruit and vegetables was seen as a major barrier to healthy eating.
- A lot of health services have nutrition policies in place, and serve healthy foods anyway, but may need to be updated.

PDF report

Growing up In Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Annual statistical report 2013 (4th volume)
Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Department of Social Services, 2015

Chapter 6: Eating behaviour: Socio-economic determinants and parental influence

Longitudinal study of child development (0-13 years), with chapter 6 specifically on fruit and vegetable intake and the determinants of this, using 24hr dietary food recall and 2003 ADGs.

Low intake of fruit and vegetables in children was related to:
- parents having no university degree
- children living in a single-parent family or in a rural area
- not having evening meals with their mother
- not breastfeeding at 6 months
- mother’s low fruit & veg intake and smoking habit

PDF report

Australia’s Food and Nutrition 2012
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012

A report on the key components of Australia’s food and nutrition system, ‘from the food supply and distribution, to consumption, nutrition and health outcomes.’

- "Australians have...moderately high amounts of fruit (156%)’ and the availability of vegetables is 83% of the world average.
- "The food categories for which food availability looks slightly inadequate include legumes, non-starchy vegetables and fruit"
- Australian households spent ~11% of their weekly food expenditure on fruit, nuts and vegetables.

PDF report


Resources for settings

Resource description Key information Image
Healthy Eating Advisory Service
Nutrition Australia Vic Division and State Government of Victoria.

HEAS provides a free service to support the supply of healthy food and drinks in community settings: Early childhood services, schools, workplaces, sports and recreation centres, universities, and the food industry.

Website includes relevant guidelines, recipes, fact sheet and tools to supply healthier foods and drinks in settings and retail outlets.

HEAS offers telephone and email advice, training and menu assessments, and support to meet Achievement Program benchmarks.


Healthy Eating Advisory Service: Case studies

Videos and case studies of how local organisations took steps towards supplying healthier food and drinks in:
- early childhood services
- schools
- retail food outlets, vending machines and workplaces

- Outlines changes they’ve made to increase the provision of healthy foods and drinks.
- Discusses changes made and barriers faced.



Resources for consumers

Resource description Key information Image
Australian Guide to Healthy Eating
NHMRC, 2013

Visual representation of a healthy diet according to the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

It shows the proportion of each food group that contributes to an overall daily intake, and the variety of foods to choose from within each food group.

Fruit and vegetables should make up over 1/3 of your daily food intake.

Web page

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating in languages other than English
NHMRC, Multicultural Health Communication, 2013

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and recommended intakes for each food group, for different age groups, in 11 languages.

Reiterates the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables (above).

Two-sided PDF poster

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Guide to Healthy Eating
NHMRC, 2015

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating adapted to include a variety of culturally-appropriate foods.

PDF poster (A1, A4)

Australian Dietary Guidelines brochures on healthy eating for adults, children, babies and during pregnancy
NHMRC, 2013

Brochures fold out to A4 pictorial poster with serve sizes and recommended intakes for food groups.

Consumer brochures summarising the Australian Dietary Guidelines, with healthy eating tips and recommended intakes of the five food groups for:
- babies
- children (2-18)
- adults (19+)
- during pregnancy

PDF brochures

Healthy Eating Pyramid
Nutrition Australia, 2015

Reflects the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines in Pyramid form, from most to least.

Fruit and vegetables feature in the foundation layers, with grain foods. These are the three plant-based food groups which should make up around 3/4 of our daily food intake.

Webpage, plus posters and magnets.

Healthy eating for older adults
SA Health, Government of South Australia, 2012

Advice for overall healthy eating as we get older.

Advice includes:
- “Eat a variety of foods: plenty of vegetables, legumes… and fruit
- “Choose foods that are high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes…”


How to get kids eating vegetables
RaisingChildren.net.au, 2014

Tips on improving veg intake for children and the family.

- Gives ‘tricks of the trade’ for adding in more vegetables
- Most important: set a good example
- Tips to include vegetables in children's snacks 


Feeding your mob with fruit and veg: Bush tucker tips!
Mid North Coast Aboriginal Health Partnership and Go For 2&5, 2008

32-page booklet of recipes, information for Aboriginal communities. Lots of art work, pictures, easy directions.

Includes 12 fruit and vegetable-based recipes such as:
- vegetable lasagne
- Spinach pie
- veg burgers
And ‘bushtucker tips’ to include traditional plants as ingredients

PDF booklet

Pick & Mix 1-6, healthy lunchbox poster
Department of Health and Human Services Nutrition Australia Vic Division, 2014

A colourful PDF download on how to pack a healthy lunchbox that includes all 5 food groups and water. Includes sample food and drink ideas.

For a healthy lunchbox Pick & Mix something from each group 1 - 6!

Fruit and vegetables feature as 2 of the core food groups and are consistently recommended in the food ideas.

Webpage with PDF


Buying, storing and cooking fruit and vegetables

Resource description Key information Image
Melbourne Market Authority

Guide to fresh fruit and vegetables, based in Melbourne.

- A weekly fruit and veg report
- Find your closest greengrocer
- A-Z of fruit & veg includes seasonal months and extra info
- Healthy eating advice and recipes


Winning storage tips
Heart Foundation, 2014

1-page PDF on storage tips for various fruit and vegetables.

- best availability
- where to store
- storage duration


Veggie cooking cheat sheet
Kidspot Kitchen, 2015

1-page PDF with cooking times for different cooking methods for various vegetables.

A-Z of 17 vegetables, and how long to boil, steam or microwave them.

Notes when it is not recommended to boil them.


Better Health Channel – fruits & vegetables
Better Health Channel and Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, 2011

General article covering vitamins & minerals, types of fruit and veg, legumes, colours, selecting and preparing, things to remember.

Key points:
- Fruit & veg contain important vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals, and fibre.
- There are many varieties and ways to prepare, cook and serve them.
- Eat 5 veg and 2 fruit per day.

Web page
Horticulture Innovation Australia

Health info, cooking tips, posters and activities relating to vegetables.

- Activities for kids and teachers to do with vegetables
- Health benefits of different veg
- How to cook different veg including different cooking methods with pictures
- Recipes for Asian vegetables
- Glossary of terms used
- Pics of serving sizes of different veg in kids’ hands


Go for 2&5
Department of Health and Ageing, Western Australia

Web page for consumers for the fruit and vegetable social marketing campaign.

- Tips for preparing food in a hurry
- Fruit and veg fact sheets
- Recipes
- Resources for each participating state
- FAQs
- Quiz to assess fruit and veg intake


Food Hubs


Research summary and case study video on background of and using food hubs.


- What is a food hub

- How the City of Casey implemented a hub

- Recommendations

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Last updated 10 August 2016.


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