Healthy habits: Get creative with food each day of the week


With the current COVID-19 pandemic keeping more families at home, Cancer Council Queensland urges all Queenslanders not to turn to unhealthy meals out of convenience, and instead maintain a healthy lifestyle during these times.

In Queensland, two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are above a healthy weight.

Healthy eating provides plenty of health benefits, including boosting your immune system which is incredibly important during this pandemic.

Around one quarter of all cancer cases are preventable through eating healthy and being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce your risk of 13 types of cancer.

Here are six easy ways to get creative with planning healthy meals throughout the week.

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Days of the week challenge:

This is a good one for a family with young children to incorporate easy learning into the kitchen. The family must decide on a meal plan for the week, using the letters of each day. Think meatless meatballs for Monday, tacos for Tuesday, wholegrains for Wednesday, tofu for Thursday, Fish for Friday, stir-fry for Saturday, and soup for Sunday.

Cuisine of the day challenge:

Bring a bit of geography into the cooking lessons with a different cuisine each day. Get creative with homemade pizza for Italian night or polish your sushi-making skills for an Asian-inspired meal.

Five food groups challenge:

For a challenge that balances your diet, set a daily goal of incorporating the five food groups into your meals, as outlined by the Australian Dietary Guidelines. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, grain foods such as rice and pasta, lean meats and poultry, and reduced fat dairy products like milk and cheese. This is also an easy way to ensure you have the recommended intake of two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies, and helps you choose high-fibre foods and reduce red or processed meat products.

Chef of the day challenge:

This one is easiest for bigger households, where a different member is nominated each day to be the resident chef. The kitchen is under their control for the day as they whip up their favourite healthy meal for the household. 

Ingredient of the day challenge:

For something a bit more challenging, choose a different ingredient to champion each day. Each meal must incorporate the ingredient in some way. For example, spinach is an easy ingredient to sneak into breakfast omelettes, lunch salads, and dinner stir-fries.

Theme of the week challenge:

Let your creativity run wild with this challenge and get the household together to nominate a theme for the week. From colour schemes to nutrition types, the options are endless. For a ‘lean and green’ theme, a pear and apple salad serves for a flavoursome, yet healthy lunch.

Further information on cancer is available via

Feature image credit: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash.