HealthWorks! Healthy Living Series: Healthy Eating on a Budget
by The Center for Better Health and Nutrition/HealthWorks! at Cincinnati Children’s
Shelly Frank, Registered Dietitian: “Planning healthy meals can sometimes be a challenge. We often hear that it is a struggle to provide balanced meals due to food cost or food waste.
Today, we’re going to show you some healthy food choices that will help you save money and keep your kitchen stocked.
The “MyPlate” graphic can be used to build a healthy meal. Each section represents a different food group. We will go through each section and highlight cost-saving tips.
In general, buying in bulk, choosing store brands, buying on sale and in season are all good ways to save money.
Meal planning often starts with the protein group, which includes foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs and beans. Beans are budget-friendly and a good way to stretch your food dollar. They make a great addition to soups, stews and casseroles. Canned meats and fish are shelf-stable and can be substituted into most recipes.
For fresh meats, buy on sale or in bulk if your budget allows. Meats are easy to freeze. Or, cook a batch of meat that can be used in several meals for the week.
Eggs and peanut butter are healthy, low-cost proteins that are easy to add to meals or snacks.
Processed or instant grains are often not the healthiest options and tend to cost more. Choose longer-cooking grains like rice and cereal.
We recommend whole grains when choosing bread, rice and pasta for more fiber and nutrition.
Remember to compare prices when shopping. Choosing store brands will often save money.
Half your plate should be produce. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. It will cost less and taste best. Buy the amount you can use before it spoils.
Convenience items like precut fruits and vegetables tend to cost more. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are healthy options available year-round. Choose fruit canned in 100 percent juice and low or no sodium canned vegetables.
In the dairy section, consider buying larger containers. Skip the sugar by choosing plain versus flavored milk. Pick plain yogurt or yogurts lower in sugar.
Planning ahead is key to staying on track with your food choices and budget. For more tips and ideas, please watch our grocery shopping and meal planning videos.”
The funding for these videos was in part provided by Master Han and the Han’s White Tiger Tae Kwon Do Annual Break-A-Thon. Thank you!