Eating healthy does not have to be expensive

With the high price of restaurant and take-out food, try making meals at home instead. You can control your food dollars by buying the healthy foods you and your family enjoy in the exact amounts you need. Getting the whole family involved is a great way to plan and prepare the meal, and you have control of nutrients, when you make it at home. Use these tips to make healthy choices while staying within your budget.

Create a Plan:
Plan meals and snacks for the week according to your food budget.
Create a grocery list of foods using your plan of meals, don’t forget to include foods that might not be a part of the recipes: fruits, vegetables, and milk. Check the sales flyer in the local paper or online for discount prices on certain foods.
Clip coupons for items you know you will use.


Grocery Shopping:
Eat before you shop, grocery shopping while hungry can lead to impulse buying of unhealthy food choices. Bring your grocery list, and stick to it. Compare unit prices listed on shelves to get the best price. Use your clipped coupons.


Prepare Healthy Meals:
Complete cooking steps ahead of time: thaw meat, wash fresh produce, chop and peel vegetables the night before.
Cover and refrigerate these prepared ingredients until time to cook. Try a few meatless meals by substituting with beans, a less expensive protein food.
Consider “no-cook” meals like salads.


Have Your Family Help:
Children can help do many jobs to get the meal or table ready.
Instruct your children wash fruits and vegetables, tear lettuce, measure salt, spices, and other ingredients, and mix ingredients together. Have children set out the plates, bowls, forks, and spoons necessary for meal time.


Cook Once, Eat Twice
Refrigerate leftovers for lunch or snacks the next day. Double or triple a recipe of soups or casseroles and freeze in meal-sized containers for a quick dinner throughout the week. Use leftover fruit and milk to make delicious and nutritious smoothies for breakfast.


Eat Breakfast for Dinner
Food typically eaten for breakfast can be a quick dinner and a fun change for kids. Wrap scrambled eggs and cheese in a tortilla, or serve pancakes topped with peanut butter. Finish the meal by serving fruit.
Hola Arkansas Staff

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