In some instances, panic buying, which may cause disruptions to food supply chains, makes it challenging to find some healthy foods, thus worsening the situation. Hence, to many low-income earners and unemployed people, food shopping has always been a financial challenge. Luckily, with the internet almost available to everyone’s reach, you can make use of websites that help families plan a food budget. Such websites feature inexpensive recipes that are in line with most dietary guidelines. Unfortunately, not everyone will have the time and the opportunity to visit such websites.
The hustles of life make it difficult for people to plan what to cook and what to eat. They spend most of their time looking for money. By the time they return home, they are too tired to prepare a good meal. They resort to readily available processed foods.
While many parents opt for processed foods and ready meals as a quick and inexpensive way to feed the family, numerous affordable and convenient, accessible healthy eating alternatives still exist.
Here are some ways that can be used to achieve a healthy eating plan that will support the growth and development of your kids and the whole family in general.
5 Tips to Easy, Affordable, and Healthy Eating
1. Include Fruits and Vegetables as Part of the Meals
Buying, cooking, and storing fresh vegetables can be pretty challenging, especially with the busy schedule that awaits you. However, whenever possible, ensure that your kids get plenty of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Remember to get hold of fresh farm produce whenever you can.
Fortunately, in addition to being eaten fresh, most vegetables can be frozen for later use without losing their flavor and nutrients. Similarly, including vegetables when cooking stews and making soups, among other dishes, will enable them to last longer, thus providing meal options for several days. To lengthen their lifespan, freeze the meal where possible and only reheat when ready to eat.
2. Go for Canned or Dried Produce
Fr1esh produce is forever the best option, but only if it is available. However, in instances where you can’t access them, there are still numerous other healthy alternatives that feature simple preparation and storage. For example, canned chickpeas and beans, which can be included in many meals, can be stored for several months without spoiling. Similarly, canned fish, including mackerel, sardines, salmon, and lactose free protein powder, can form part of a healthy eating breakfast since they are protein-rich and contain omega three fatty acids, among other minerals. Moreover, they can be served cold in sandwiches and salads or served as a warm dish in pasta dishes.
Although canned tomatoes tend to have lower vitamin levels compared to fresh produce, they still offer a great alternative to healthy eating habits in cases where frozen and fresh produce are available. On the other hand, dried foods such as pulses, beans, and grains like rice, peas, lentils, and couscous can be canned without losing any nutritional value. Moreover, they are long-lasting options that form a tasty, affordable, fulfilling meal. You can cook rolled oats with water or milk to achieve a healthy eating breakfast which can be flavored with chopped fruits, raisins, or yogurt.
3. Include Healthy Snacks
It is typical for children to need a snack or two to ensure they are kept going through the day. Instead of having salty snacks or sweets, go for healthier options such as cheese, nuts, unsweetened yogurt, boiled eggs, or chopped fruits. In addition to being highly nutritious, such snacks are more filling and enable one to build healthy eating habits throughout their lifetime.
4. Avoid Highly Processed Goods If Possible
Since using fresh produce alone is not entirely possible, try to minimize the number of processed foods you purchase as much as you can. Packaged snacks, ready-to-eat meals, and desserts are highly saturated with fats, salt, and sugars. As a result, they don’t form part of nutrition and healthy eating. If you must purchase processed foods, ensure that you choose healthier substances that feature more minor of the above substances.
Also, instead of sugary drinks and other soft drinks, consider taking lots of water. You can add vegetables or fruits such as lime, lemon, cucumber, or berries to a glass of water before drinking to enjoy a twist of flavor.
5. Cook more
Cooking and eating as a family is an affordable way to achieve a simple healthy eating plan and strengthens family bonds. Where possible, ensure that you involve your children in your cooking preparation and routines. You can allocate different tasks to your kids based on their age and health statuses. For example, younger children can help with sorting or washing food items while the much older ones cater to more complex tasks such as setting up the table.
Also, ensure that you adhere to fixed meal times where you can eat as a family. With such routines and structures, your children will be able to cope with any diet you impose on them.
There are many benefits of healthy eating besides the nutritional factor. Thus, it is essential to watch whatever you are eating without digging deeper into your pockets. Also, since tough times call for tough measures, try to develop ways and recipes that deliver all the nutritional requirements to your family without having to extend your budget.