More Healthy Food, Less $$

It’s 2020! Excessive eating and spending of the holiday season are soooo 2019. There’s no better time than now to celebrate the shiny new year and decade with ways for the whole family to eat healthier for less!

Here are ways to help you and your family be savvy consumers who make the healthiest choices… and save money too.

Eat More Whole Foods

Prepared, processed foods are easy to serve but are far more expensive and less nutritious than “whole foods” like fresh vegetables, fruit and grains. Avoid pre-packaged foods as they are typically loaded with preservatives, hidden sugars, fats and chemicals. When you eat and prepare with whole food items, you know exactly what’s going into your meals and are keeping the processed, hard-to-pronounce ingredients out. Advanced food preparation and freezing can help make hectic weeknight meals easier and far less expensive than ordering in.

Healthy Choices at Restaurants

When eating out, try going for the options with the least amount of ingredients. Ask the restaurant for a nutritional menu and go for something less calorically dense, with minimal sugar and processed carb. Salads, heart-healthy soups, and items with whole grains are your best bets. Choose fresh over cooked meals, smaller over larger portions, and grilled over fried food, when possible. If you are having trouble finding something healthy, remember that one veggie, one whole grain carb (like brown rice or quinoa), and a protein source can make up a nutritious and balanced meal.

Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ markets are a great way to spend the day and get some healthy food for the whole family. EBT can also be used at participating farmers’ markets. For a list of farmers’ markets near you where EBT is accepted, go to: https://eatfresh.org/county/los-angeles.

Another terrific Los Angeles resource for healthy eating is Market Match, a nonprofit that matches your CalFresh benefits at the farmers’ market, dollar-for-dollar, in order to enable more people to buy more local and healthy produce. For more information, go to: https://marketmatch.org/.

Frozen and Canned Produce

Frozen produce yields nearly the same nutritional benefits as fresh fruits and vegetables, often at a lower cost. You can buy frozen and canned produce at discount store – just read labels to make sure the canned produce is not loaded with extra salts and sugars.

Did you know? According to the First 5 LA-funded Healthy Eating Initiative and the Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative (ECOPI), overweight children are more likely to develop diabetes and other serious medical problems. Early prevention through healthy eating and an active lifestyle are key to helping kids live their healthiest lives.

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