Nutrition Australia has announced ‘Try for 5’ as theme for this year’s National Nutrition Week, which runs from 16-21 October.

The non-government, not-for-profit organisation has also launched its Try for 5 Challenge, encouraging Australians to increase their intake of vegetables to the recommended five servings a day.

Lucinda Hancock, Nutrition Australia Vic Division CEO, said that the challenge is a great way to kickstart healthy eating habits.

“Vegetables are the most under-consumed food group, with the average Australian eating only half their recommended intake. Yet, over a third of the kilojoules we consume each day come from unhealthy options like cakes, biscuits, take away, confectionery, drinks and alcohol,’ Hancock said.

“Making a pledge to eat more veg is the first step to better health and wellbeing. Vegetables are full of flavour and they're packed full of important vitamins and minerals, disease-fighting antioxidants and gut-healthy fibre.”

Industry body Ausveg has called on the vegetable industry and consumers to share their stories of how they have increased their vegetable consumption ahead of National Nutrition Week.

“Most Australians fall alarmingly short of eating five or more serves of veggies each day and this has a severe impact on our health as well as the sustainability of the vegetable industry,” Asuveg CEO James Whiteside said. “With National Nutrition Week just around the corner, Ausveg is calling on the Australian vegetable industry and consumers to find creative ways to incorporate five serves of veggies or more into their daily meals, and to share their stories and photos with us.

“For most veggies a single serve is just 75g, which is around a handful of carrots or a medium-sized potato. By taking the chance to increase your daily vegetable intake, Australians can make a huge difference to their overall health and wellbeing.”

The annual event also coincides with the United Nations World Food Day on 16 October.