WINTER COMFORT: Healthy stews, soups and casseroles are all great ways to enjoy winter eating.
WINTER COMFORT: Healthy stews, soups and casseroles are all great ways to enjoy winter eating. ribeirorocha

Tips for good winter nutrition

THIS winter the Heart Foundation is encouraging seniors to put aside stodgy foods and seek out healthier comfort options for the chilly season ahead.

Nutrition manager Maria Packard offers the following top tips to help you make the change to better winter eating.

Boost immunity

  • Focus on whole foods including those that contain vitamin C, zinc and protein.
  • Winter fruit and vegetables provide lots of these nutrients.
  • Use citrus - orange, mandarins, passionfruit, kiwi fruit and strawberries.
  • Vegetables such as capsicum, broccoli and pumpkin.
  • Fish is a good source of zinc, particularly oily fish with its omega 3.
  • Baked beans, and pumpkin seeds for a snack.

"All of these are useful weapons for fighting off the causes of the common cold and flu,” Ms Packard said.


  • They have the good heart-healthy fats, powerful anti-oxidants with a broad spectrum of vitamins in them.
  • Swap butter for poly-saturated or mono-unsaturated margarine or avocados on the morning toast.

Get more goodness in your day

  • Make cooking a nutritious meal a priority.
  • Aim for meals that are rich in nutrients, such as beef and bean stew, winter porridge topped with berries or seeds and nuts sprinkled on top, and warming soups with dark leafy vegetables through them such as spinach.
  • Try the Heart Foundation recipes such as kidney bean chilli and lentil and vegetable curry.
  • With soups, you can use fresh, frozen and canned ingredients.
  • If you make a big batch, then it can be divided for leftovers and even frozen in portion sizes for use on another day.


  • Spoil yourself with a fruit crumble using apple, pear or berries,
  • Top it with oats which gives you the benefit of wholegrains which are important for heart health and for fibre.

Cooking methods

  • Pull out the slow cooker for stews, soups and curries.
  • It is perfect for cooking vegetables, legumes, chick peas, lentils and lean meats.
  • With one pot you can put all the ingredients in at one time.

Stay hydrated

  • It is important to stay hydrated with water throughout the day.
  • Hot drinks such as tea, milk and even soups also count.

Plan your meal

  • Plan your meal by making a list of what you need.
  • Stock your pantry well including canned salt-reduced vegetables or ready to eat beans and salmon.
  • In the freezer keep your bread, berries, meat and fish.


  • Aim for raw nuts, wholegrain crackers, whole fruit and a small amount of dried fruit.

For more top nutrition tips and recipes, go to

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