Healthy eating habits/Healthy Eating for Busy Adults

Busy People

Breakfast and Healthy Eating


On average, nearly 1 in 5 Australian adults skip breakfast at least 3 days per week.[1]. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day as it helps refuel your body for the day ahead.[2]

When you eat a healthy breakfast, you're more likely to:

  • Eat more vitamins and minerals.[2]
  • Eat less fat and Cholesterol:, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. [2]
  • Have better concentration and productivity throughout the morning.[2]
  • Control your weight. [2]
Spoonful of cereal

Simple tips to make sure you include breakfast

  • Prepare meals the night before.[3]
  • Prepare a breakfast to eat on the go or grab something quick such as fruit or cheese and crackers.[3]
  • Keep breakfast ingredients at work so you can eat when you arrive at work.[3]
  • Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier.[3]

Eating healthy when you are short on time

  • Cook in bulk on the weekend and keep meals in the freezer to use for during the week.[4]
  • Grab fruit when on the go.[4]
  • Use a microwave, it’s easier and faster to microwave foods than cook them in the oven or on the stove.[4]
  • Use small, thin pieces of food as it cooks quicker.[4]
  • Don’t throw out leftovers, keep them for a quick meal the next day.[4]
  • Prepare lunches the night before to avoid preparing in the morning.[4]

Why are vegetables important to include in the diet?


Many Australians only eat about half the recommended quantity of vegetables per day. [5] Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and many other nutrients naturally present in plants.[5] Most vegetables are low in energy compared to many other foods, and may help ‘fill us up’ to avoid excessive weight gain too.[5] Diets high in vegetables may help protect you from chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke and some cancers.[5]

What is a serve of vegetables?[5]

  • ½ cup of cooked green or orange vegetables
  • ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables
  • 1 cup of green leafy vegetables or salad
  • ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils

How many serves of vegetables should I be eating a day?[5]

19-50 Years 51-70 Years 70+ Years
Men 6 5.5 5
Women 5 5 5

Making Fast Food Healthy


Takeaway can be a regular habit for busy people, so If you happen to be too busy to prepare meals and go for takeaway try and choose healthier choices.[6] Most restaurants and cafes now serve lower fat, healthier options, however a lot of take-away foods often contain hidden fats.[6]

Tips for choosing healthier takeaway foods

  • Try to avoid anything that is fried or battered
  • Avoid foods cooked in cream or butter such as butter chicken.[6]
  • Avoid high fat meats such as processed meats and sausages and choose leaner meats like turkey, ham, chicken and roast beef.[6]
  • Try to avoid meal combos which include fries and soft drinks and just get the burger
  • Share an entrée with a friend
  • Order from the child's menu
  • Order the lunch or appetizer version of your meal
  • Choose burgers with salad rather than ‘the lot’, and ask for no mayonnaise or margarine on the bun.[6]
  • Order souvlaki or kebabs with extra salad rather than lots of meat.[6]
  • Try thin crust pizza with lean meat or lean chicken with plenty of vegetarian toppings.[6]
  • Choose pasta with tomato-based sauces instead of cream based.[6]
  • Choose steamed rice over fried rice.[6]
  • Eat plenty of vegetables with stir-fry dishes.[6]
  • Drink low-fat smoothies, milkshakes and coffee or tea.[6]
  • Try to avoid ordering dessert, or try low-fat frozen yoghurt, ice creams or fruit.[6]
  • Put left overs into a doggie bag instead of trying to finish the meal
  • Try to avoid or limit dressings, sauces and gravies
  • Ask salad instead of chips
  • Choose lower fat dressings and sauces
  • Choose low-fat muffins instead of regular muffins, danishes or croissants
  • Ask for your bread without butter

Key Points

  • Try to eat breakfast every day
  • There are many ways you can include breakfast in your diet
  • Cooking healthy meals can be made quicker
  • Vegetables are important in the diet, try and meet your recommended serves per day
  • Choose healthier choices when eating take away

Further Reading



  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (1995). National Nutrition Survey Selected Highlights Australia. Retrieved from$File/48020_1995.pdf.
  2. a b c d e Dietitians Association of Australia. (2013). Breakfast. Retrieved from
  3. a b c d Heart Foundation. (n.d). Breakfast. Retrieved from
  4. a b c d e f Nutrition Australia. (2012). Healthy Lunch Ideas for Busy Adults. Retrieved from
  5. a b c d e f National Health and Medical Research Council. (2013). Australian Dietary Guidelines: Summary. Retrieved from
  6. a b c d e f g h i j k l Nutrition Australia. (2012). Eating Out. Retrieved from