Dietitian Approved

Ask Amelia

Dietitian Approved

Why are our meals Dietitian Approved?
These little pigs love food & sometimes can love food a little too much….enter the fabulous and very knowledgeable Dr Amelia Harray who gently reigns in these excessive swine’s and encourages us to use natural and delicious flavouring options like fresh herbs, lemon zest and different ingredients to create flavour and joy without excessive salt & other unnecessary additives.
.
Who is the Dietitian behind our “Dietitian Approved”?
Dr Amelia Harray has been working as an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist for nearly a decade and has a PhD in Dietetics from Curtin University.
Amelia’s love for promoting healthy dietary behaviours and improving cooking skills is the foundation of her involvement in Little Pig.  As well as reviewing all the Little Pig recipes, she works as a Research Fellow in Clinical Dietetics.
Amelia is passionate about encouraging people to prepare, cook and truly enjoy the food they eat. She encourages minimally processed whole foods, preferably bought locally and in season, and likes to teach people how they can try to reach nutrient requirements through foods. She loves the texture, colour and flavour that fruits and vegetables add to any meal and believes they should be the hero of every dish.
True story? Amelia spends most of her time feeding and caring for her four beautiful kids and anxious rescue cat. She has two 70+ year old fruit trees, Eddie (shares his oranges) and Elsie (shares her lemons).
.
What makes a recipe Dietitian approved?
Dr Amelia reviews the ingredients of every Little Pig meal before it’s given the green light of approval. She focusses very much on foods and serve sizes to ensure every meal aligns with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the largest evidence-based source of nutrition information in the country. We work very closely with Dr Amelia to ensure meals are tweaked to meet her criteria of specific serve sizes and:
- Variety of different coloured seasonal vegetables (the colour relates to their nutrient composition)
- Grains and cereals, preferably wholegrain
- Low in salt, added sugar and saturated fat
- Moderate amounts of animal-based foods.
    How healthy are Little Pig meals?
    Little Pig meals are packed with essential nutrients to support good health and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. These nutrients are packaged in a combination of local and seasonal vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats, nuts, seeds, cheese, fruit and other delicious ingredients.
    As well as being nutritious and tasting delicious, Little Pig meals use mainly fresh herbs and spices to enhance flavour. This keeps little pig meals low in salt, added sugar and saturated fat.
    .
    I am trying to lose weight, is Little Pig right for me?
    Regardless of your size, eating well and moving more will improve your health. By focusing less on weight and more on health, people can form healthy relationships with food and truly enjoy what they eat.
    All Little Pig meals are high in vegetables that are high in fibre (making people feel fuller more quickly) and low in energy (kilojoules); making it easier for people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
    When enjoying the deliciousness of Little Pig meals, Dr Amelia encourages people to check in with themselves and ask ‘do I feel like the rest of this?’. If the answer is no, then the answer is simple. Put it aside and keep it for lunch or dinner the next day.
    .
    Do you provide information on the energy, micro- and macronutrients in each meal?
    Simply put, no. The reason why we don’t is because Dr Amelia does not set limits on the energy (kilojoule) content of each meal, instead focuses on nutrient density, food group serves, the variety of nutrients provided in each meal, fruit and veg seasonality, and the food preparation and cooking skills taught.
    .
    How many serves of vegetables are in the Little Pig packs?
    Every single Little Pig meal is high in vegetables, which is GREAT news for your health!! Adults need at least 5 serves of cooked or salad vegetables every day to help prevent diseases that are linked to diet (e.g. heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers). One serve of vegetables is equivalent to ½ a cup of cooked veg or 1 cup of salad veg. Little Pig meals contain at least 3 serves of vegetables per serve, making it easier for you and your family to reach the recommended 5 serves per day.
    .
    I am trying to reduce the amount of salt I eat, are Little Pig meals a salty swine?
    Firstly, great work! Trying to minimise the amount of salt you eat is important for good health, regardless of whether you have high blood pressure. Many Australians eat too much salt and about 75% of the salt in our diet comes from highly processed foods (e.g. pies, snacks, premade soups and sauces) as it is often used as a preservative. Cooking meals from scratch using fresh ingredients means you can control the amount of salt added.
    Although the Little Pig team tries to keep salt to a minimum, if you have high blood pressure it’s important for you to reduce salt intake further. You can do this by reducing the salty ingredients you add when preparing your Little Pig meal, such as using less of a dressing or marinade. A few ingredients that are higher in salt include; soy sauce, fish sauce, stock and cheese.
    .
    Meat portion sizes – what’s the go?
    Dietary Guidelines encourage people to eat a variety of foods from the ‘lean meat, poultry, fish and alternatives’ food group every day. These foods are a great source of protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. But there’s a catch, there is an evidence-based recommendation of a maximum of 455g of lean red meat per week (65g per day or 1 serve) and processed meats (e.g. ham, bacon, salami) are not recommended for good health. To keep red meat intake within recommendations, people should try to eat other foods that provide the body with similar nutrients including, nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, tofu, eggs and legumes. Including Herbivore meals into your weekly order can be a great way to reduce red meat intake.
    If piglets like to eat red meat every day, I encourage them to keep portion sizes to about 1 serve a day (65g cooked). This may involve keeping some of your Little Pig red meat for the next day (e.g. a yummy cold beef salad for lunch the next day) as the meals contain about 2 lean red meat serves per person. 
    .
    I’m not a vegetarian so are the Herbivore meals for me?
    Many Australians are trying to eat less meat. Even if you are not one of them and love meat, Dr Amelia highly recommends people try to aim for a few vegetarian meals a week. This could be replacing ham with hummus in a sandwich for lunch, or having meat free Monday dinners.
    An easy (and delicious) option is to add a Little Pig Herbivore meal to your order each week – you won’t be disappointed. This will mean you do a little more for your health and the environment. 
    .
    Weekend Boxes
    It’s important to know Piglets, our weekender boxes are not dietitian approved. But our dietitian, Dr Amelia, has some nutrition advice. “The weekender boxes are high in a variety of fresh vegetables, a key component of a healthy diet, but do contain ingredients that should only be consumed occasionally and in small amounts, such as bacon, butter and cinnamon scrolls. If you occasionally try these delicious meals, sit, relax, eat slowly and enjoy the experience with loved ones.”
    .
    Milk, bread and eggs
    Looking for the healthiest options when ordering your box of staples? It’s recommended people try to choose wholemeal or grainy breads as they’re higher in fibre, and reduced fat milk, which is not watered down full cream milk and is often higher in protein and calcium. To align with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, limit your intake of 100% fruit juice to ½ cup a day and choose whole fruit where you can. This is because whole fruit comes naturally packaged with fibre, which is great for gut health and reduces the amount of sugar you consume.