Eating Healthy on a Budget
There are multiple challenges to preparing healthy and nutritionally complete meals. These challenges include time limitations, financial constraints, food preparation skills, equipment, and appliances, and healthy menu planning skills.
The current project, “Eating Healthy on a Budget”, provides ideas for preparing one dish meals and sandwiches, shopping tips, and stocking a basic pantry. The goal is to provide simple, easily prepared meals that parents/guardians and children can do together.
The sections on one dish meals and sandwiches present ways to mix and match ingredients to add interest, color, variety, and crunch while being healthy. The one dish meals and sandwiches ideas are presented in tabular form to maximize variety, ethnic food preferences, and use of basic foods that can be purchased or often provided at food pantries. These tables also allow individuals and families to make choices based on food preferences, food availability, and create a variety of dishes with minimal resources. The dishes require basic equipment and food preparation skills to assist in saving time and money. In addition, suggestions for choosing healthy ingredients and making nutritionally complete meals are provided. To help cook for families of varying sizes, a table for converting the basic recipe is included. These sections encourage clients to try new foods and food combinations to create interesting meals.
General shopping tips are given, emphasizing stretching the food budget. The section on stocking a basic pantry will be helpful in preparing the presented menu ideas and to assist with being prepared for weather-related emergencies.