A very important word from Maryann of Raise Healthy Eaters…
Erin does an excellent job of showing you how to save money without compromising nutrition. Yet there are many people who still believe eating healthy has to put a huge dent in their wallets.
To prove that there are many inexpensive and nutritious options available, I’ve come up with my top five favorites:
1. Beans – One of the healthiest and least expensive foods around is beans. Whether you buy them canned or dried, they are very inexpensive and versatile to cook with. Try black, kidney, pinto, white beans or lentils.
Why are beans so great? They are packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron and are low in fat. Plus, with plenty of soluble fiber they’ll fill your family up while keeping cholesterol levels at bay. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend Americans consume 3 cups of beans weekly.
Try this tasty recipe for Beef and Black Bean Burritos.
2. Brown rice – Switching from white to brown rice is an easy change to make, both in terms of money and health. Even though brown rice cost almost the same as white, it contains more fiber and nutrients because it’s a whole grain (the bran and germ has not been removed).
For a super frugal example, see Erin’s Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole recipe.
3. Canned fish – Most health organizations recommend Americans eat fish twice a week, yet you might get squeamish when seeing the salmon at 10 dollars a pound. But canned versions of both tuna and salmon are much cheaper and provide the same essential omega-3 fats kids and adults need (DHA & EPA).
Not only does light canned tuna contain less mercury than albacore, it’s less expensive. And you can use canned salmon in everything from crab cakes to toppings for a salad.
For inspiration, see Erin’s Tuna Melt Recipe.
4. Eggs – There’s no easier-to-make complete protein than an egg. At less than 2 dollars per dozen, they are a steal. Eggs not only contain quality protein, but also a variety of nutrients including selenium and riboflavin.
5. Fruits and veggies – Everyone knows fruits and veggies are healthy but they are often associated with high cost. Save money by buying what’s in season, growing your own garden, looking for deals (frozen and fresh) and stocking up and checking the local farmer’s market.
What are some of your most favorite healthy (and inexpensive) foods?
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD is a registered dietitian, mother of two and creator of Raise Healthy Eaters, a blog dedicated to providing parents with credible nutrition advice. To get started on her site, see her Nutrition for Children section.