A Healthy Australian Day

By author photo Jenny Craig Team


The traditional Australia Day celebration usually involves a day in the sun – at the beach, the park, at home or a friend’s place, and for many this involves drinks and a BBQ. Here are our top tips for a healthy celebration:

1. Choose plenty of salads with low kilojoule dressings such as:

– Balsamic vinegar and fresh parsley

– Lime juice with coriander and chilli

– Lemon juice and fresh basil, or

– Lemon juice with garlic and coriander

2. Avoid salads with creamy dressings such as pasta and potato salad.

3. When it comes to BBQ meat, try to avoid sausages and opt for lean meat – a lean steak or chicken breast are good options. But remember portion control; go for a palm-sized piece of meat.

4. Use the plate model when filling up your plate:

– ½ plate = non starchy vegetables/salad

– ¼ plate = lean meat/protein

– ¼ plate = wholegrain carbohydrate (e.g. wholegrain bread, brown rice, quinoa)

5. Choose non-alcoholic, low kilojoule drinks such as soda with a splash of fresh lime or lemon.

6. If you choose to drink, limit to 1-2 standard drinks, and choose lower kilojoule options such as:

– Wine spritzer (½ wine, ½ soda)

– Light beer (or a shandy – ½ beer ½ diet lemonade)

– Spirit with soda or diet soft drink

7. Stay active – why not combine a BBQ with a game of cricket, a dip in the pool or a bike ride!

For ideas on side dishes perfect as BBQ accompaniments, take a look at some of these salad ideas:


Mushroom & Spinach Salad


  • 100g, button mushrooms, sliced
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 3 green shallots, trimmed & sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, cut into strips
  • 1 large carrot, peeled into long ribbons, using a vegetable peeler
  • 1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine mushrooms, spinach, shallots, capsicum and carrot in a large bowl.

2. Mix lemon juice, vinegar and mustard in a small jug and season with pepper. Whisk to combine.

Drizzle over salad and toss salad to coat.


Cucumber Dill Salad


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp dill
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Black pepper, to taste


1. Slice cucumber and mix with remaining ingredients together.

2. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.


Raw Veggie Salad


  • 1 carrot (large), peeled
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 beetroots, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


1. Using a peeler, peel carrot into ribbons. Do the same for the zucchini, stopping at the seeds.

2. Combine carrot, zucchini, beetroot and spinach together in a salad bowl, pouring vinegar over and tossing to combine.

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