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Healthy Families Invercargill Supporting Healthier Chips

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It’s a Kiwi tradition – the Friday night fish and chips.

But now it’s being made healthier and tastier, thanks to chip training organised by Healthy Families Invercargill and run by The Chip Group.

Operators from about 10 takeaway businesses attended the training, at ILT Stadium Southland, on Monday morning, to learn how to make their chips healthier.

The Chip Group training and education manager Kate Underwood said New Zealanders ate 4 million scoops of hot chips each week. That was potentially a lot of fat and salt going into people’s diets each week, so it was important to show people ways to make them healthier, and retain the nutritional value of the potato.

Small changes such as the temperature of the oil, how often the oil was filtered and replaced, and how long the chips were cooked for, all made a large difference in the final fat content of the chips, and the resulting nutritional value.

As well as showing operators how to cook their chips, to keep the fat content lower than 10 per cent, it also taught them how to clean their fryers and filters.

Healthy Families Invercargill manager Jared Cappie said teaching people how to make their beloved foods healthier was key to being able to continue enjoying them, without the unwanted negatives, such as high fat and salt content.

‘’This is about educating people, so they can still enjoy these favourites. It’s not about taking anything away, it’s about making things better.”

Obesity rates in Invercargill are higher than the national average, but by working collaboratively as a community, small changes could make big differences, he said.

Tips and tricks for healthier chips:

  • Thick chips are best – 13mm
  • Drain excess oil
  • Standard serving size is 330gm (before cooking)
  • Keep oil at 175degC
  • Not too much salt
  • Use Chip Group approved oils

Keep oil in good condition

The Chip Group training and education manager Kate Underwood shows Jagroop Singh, of TJ’s Kitchen, how to make healthier chips. Photo: Healthy Families Invercargill