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Replace with a healthier alternative

Full cream milk

Replace with reduced fat milk (e.g. Hilo) or skim milks


Evaporated skim milk
Ricotta or cottage cheese
Reduced fat vanilla yoghurt

Sour cream

Light sour cream
Reduced fat natural yoghurt

Cream cheese

Light cream cheese
Equal amounts of ricotta and cottage cheese (blended)

Regular cheese

Reduce the suggested amount of cheese
Reduced fat cheese
Small amount of very strong flavoured cheese such as parmesan


Reduced fat mayonnaise

Coconut milk/creams

Lite coconut milk (it has a lower fat content)
Evaporated skim milk with coconut essence

Oil-based salad dressing

Clear ‘oil free’ varieties
Reduced fat varieties
Lemon juice, herbs, mustard and vinegar mixed together

Butter, margarine
and oils

Reduce the suggested amount of butter, margarine or oil
Monounsaturated (e.g. olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil) or
polyunsaturated varieties (e.g. sunflower oil, safflower oil,
corn oil, soybean oil)
Use a pastry brush and lightly coat
Use a spray oil instead of pouring oil

Frying or browning meat and chicken

Use skin free chicken
Trim all visible fat from meat and chicken
Brown in a non-stick pan or grill with drip tray
If using oil to brown the meat or chicken use a minimal amount
of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oil or spray
Add a little water, tomato juice or stock to prevent sticking

Casseroles and stews

Trim meat before cooking
If using oil to brown the meat or chicken use a minimal amount
of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oil or spray
Use smaller amounts of meat and add more vegetables including onions, potatoes, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, peas and green beans
Refrigerate overnight to allow fat to settle so it can be removed before eating
Use a reduced salt stock


Use a non-stick pan


Use filo pastry brushed with reduced fat milk or skim milk
Use reduced fat pastry

Bread, rice and pasta

Offer a variety of bread types including wholemeal bread, wholegrain bread, high fibre white bread, rolls, wraps, pita pockets and Lebanese breads


Season with herbs and spices
For extra flavour, add lemon juice, garlic, onion or shallots

If you have a substitution idea we haven’t mentioned, please send us your idea so we can tell others. Go to the "Send Feedback" section to send us a comment. To give you an idea of some good recipes, we have included one from the Healthy Recipes and Meal Ideas booklet and two from Canteen Cuisine, both are available from WASCA.

Click on the links below to download the recipes.

Pumpkin Soup

Banana Loaf

Stuffed Spuds


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