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Go Further with Food: 5 Tips to Eat Healthy, Spend Less

Think you can’t eat healthy on a budget? Registered Dietitian Brandi Nichols, RD, CSP, LD at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, shares some tips to “Go Further with Food” during National Nutrition Month.

“Our theme, ‘Go Further with Food,’ means reducing food waste, planning, and budgeting to make smart choices and finding creative ways to prepare food,” Nichols, a mother of three, says.

Nichols offers five tips to eat smarter:

  1. Use frozen fruits and vegetables when a fruit isn’t in season. They’re less expensive, provide the same nutrients and don’t spoil. Buy fresh produce in season.
  2. Plan your menu for the week. Make your grocery list and stick with it — resist impulse buys or spontaneous dining out. “One of my favorites is cooking frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot and using the shredded chicken for a few different meals,” Nichols says.
  3. Eat less meat. “Limit meat portions to 3-4 ounces and eat more grains, fruits, and vegetables which cost less),” Nichols advises. “Ideally, your plate should be 25 percent meat or protein, 25 percent starchy grains and 50 percent fruits and vegetables.”
  4. Snack on Fruits and Veggies. Apples, clementines, and carrots are quick, easy, low-calorie snacks. Add a small handful of almonds for protein. Keep snacks below 150 calories.
  5. Pack healthy lunches. Include two or more fruits or vegetables. Applesauce pouches, sometimes with veggies added, are a good choice. Avoid Lunchables and sugar-sweetened juices; water and reduced-fat milk are better choices. If a snack pack says two servings, only send half.

Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

To celebrate National Nutrition Month, try making this delicious smoothie with your kids.

  • 2 cups leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine or Swiss chard)
  • 2 cups liquid base (almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, water or coconut water)
  • 3 cups ripe fruit, with at least 1 cup frozen fruit to chill the recipe (we offered a choice of strawberry/banana, tropical blend, berry blend or peach/mango)

Start by blending the liquid base and leafy greens. Then, add fruit and blend until desired consistency. This makes four 8-ounce servings.

For more nutrition information, call Clinical Nutrition at 501-364-1264 or visit www.eatright.org

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