Healthy Eating Can Be Affordable
Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, low-fat milk. These foods are basic to good health, yet most children and their families don’t eat enough of them.
Choose foods that give the greatest bang for your buck and calories. Carrots, cabbage, frozen veggies, and fruits in season are great examples of low-cost vegetables and fruits that are also low in calories. The challenge is in knowing when foods that are low in calories but packed with nutrients are a good buy and how to make the most of limited food dollars.
Here are some suggestion you can use to stretch your food dollars related to fruits and vegetables while enjoying a healthy diet.
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
–Know when fruits and vegetables are in season (https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce) or a good buy. For example, tomatoes are in season in the summer and oranges are a good buy in the winter.
–Frozen and canned vegetables and fruits may be less expensive than fresh, especially when the fresh varieties are not in season. Choose frozen vegetables without sauces, and fruits canned in juice to reduce fat and sugar.
–Buy only the foods that your family will eat before they spoil. Throwing away food is equivalent to throwing away money. This advice is especially important when purchasing perishable foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
–Consider buying fruits and vegetables that are less than perfect. A growing number of grocers sell imperfect produce such as ripe bananas, oddly shaped potatoes or yellowish cauliflower for a price lower than their more attractive counterparts.
--Keep fruits and vegetables where they can be easily seen. For example, put fruit in bowls on tables or countertops so they are more visible and more likely to be eaten. Cut up vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and green peppers when you bring them home so they are readily available as snacks and can be used in recipes when time is tight.
–Grow some of your own vegetables. Even a few tomato plants in containers on a porch can yield a bounty of tomatoes in the summer.
Source: Gayle Coleman, nutrition education program specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension