Grains & starchy vegetables

Grains are a great source of fibre and iron, and they also contain some protein. They are rich in B vitamins, which are important for metabolism and nerve function.

What's a serving?

½ cup cooked rice, pasta or barley, 1 medium sweet potato, ¼ cup muesli or 1 slice wholegrain bread.

Good sources:

Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, porridge, sweet potatoes.

Legumes & soy products

Legumes and soy products provide a hefty amount of protein. Many of these foods are also rich in calcium and iron.

What's a serving?

½ cup cooked beans, ½ cup tofu, ½ cup tempeh or 1 cup fortified soy milk.

Good sources:

Kidney beans, tofu, tempeh, lentils, peas.

Vegetables

Vegetables are chock full of nutrients, like beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A (important for good eyesight and immune function); and vitamin C, which creates collagen (a protein that makes skin, joints, and bones strong). Vegetables also contain a host of cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

What's a serving?

½ cup cooked vegetables, 1 cup raw vegetables or ½ cup vegetable juice.

Good sources:

Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, capsicum, carrots, mushrooms.

Seeds & nuts

Nuts and seeds provide protein and iron, as well as zinc, which supports a healthy immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids – found in walnuts, flaxseeds, quinoa and chia seeds – aid in healthy brain function.

What's a serving?

¼ cup nuts, ½ cup cooked quinoa, 2 tablespoons seeds or 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter.

Good sources:

Pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, tahini, flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds, quinoa.

Fruit

Fruits are great for hydration and a fantastic source of fibre, which aids in digestion and helps prevent heart disease. Many fruits are also rich in potassium, which is important for proper organ function, and most berries are packed with antioxidants.

What's a serving?

1 medium-sized fresh fruit or 1 cup chopped fruit.

Good sources:

Apples, oranges, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, avocados, mangos, grapefruit, watermelon, kiwi.

These servings act as a guide – the exact daily servings needed will vary based on age, height, weight and activity level. Speak to a qualified health professional for personalised advice.

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Pick the best protein packages by emphasizing plant sources of protein rather than animal sources.

Dr Walter Willett, Chair of Harvard University Nutrition Department