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Affordable nutritious options

Using fresh vegetables to cook large batches of soups, stews or other dishes will make them last longer and provide meal options for a few days. These can also be frozen and then quickly reheated.

Fresh produce is almost always the best option, but when it is not available there are plenty of healthy alternatives that are easy to store and prepare. Canned beans and chickpeas, which provide an abundance of nutrients, can be stored for months or even years, and can be included in meals in many ways.

Canned oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon are rich in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and a range of vitamins and minerals. These can be used cold in sandwiches, salads or pasta dishes, or cooked as part of a warm meal.

Canned vegetables, such as tomatoes, tend to contain lower quantities of vitamins than fresh produce, but they are a great fallback option when fresh produce or frozen vegetables are hard to come by.

Dried goods like dried beans, pulses and grains such as lentils, split peas, rice, couscous or quinoa are also nutritious, long-lasting options that are tasty, affordable and filling.

Rolled oats cooked with milk or water can serve as an excellent breakfast option, and can be spiced up with yoghurt, chopped fruits or raisins. Children often need to eat a snack or two during the day to keep them going. Rather than giving kids sweets or salty snacks, opt for healthier options like nuts, cheese, yoghurt preferably unsweetened , chopped or dried fruits, boiled eggs, or other locally available healthy options.

These foods are nutritious, more filling, and help build healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. While using fresh produce may not always be possible, try to limit the amount of highly processed foods in your shopping basket.

Ready-to-eat meals, packaged snacks and desserts are often high in saturated fat, sugars and salt. If you do purchase processed foods, look at the label and try to choose healthier options containing less of these substances.

Try to also avoid sugary drinks and instead drink lots of water. Adding fruits or vegetables like lemon, lime, cucumber slices or berries to water is a great way to add an extra twist of flavour. Cooking and eating together is a great way to create healthy routines, strengthen family bonds and have fun.

Wherever you can, involve your children in food preparation — small children can help with washing or sorting food items while older children can take on more complex tasks and help to set the table. Power your child's brain and body with these quick, nutritious and affordable recipes.

Strategies for keeping everyone happy and healthy at mealtime. Supercharge your child's learning through the power of play. UNICEF Parenting is now on WhatsApp. Search UNICEF Fulltext search.

What really makes tomatoes shine is their vitamin C content. They also provide some B vitamins, vitamins A, E and K and many trace minerals 27 , Many of their health benefits are attributed to their lycopene content. Lycopene is an antioxidant that may reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage and lower the risk of disease Canned tomatoes are a handy staple to have in your kitchen.

They can easily be added to soups, casseroles and stews. If your budget is tight, carrots are a cheap and nutrient-dense vegetable to include in your diet. Carrots are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, which is responsible for their impressive vitamin A content.

Furthermore, carrots contain a significant amount of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese Due to their high antioxidant content, eating carrots regularly may help decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of stomach cancer 35 , You can reap the health benefits of carrots by enjoying them raw or cooked.

They make an excellent addition to salads and cooked dishes. High amounts of vitamin C are found in green cabbage, in addition to some B vitamins and trace minerals Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are unique because of their glucosinolate content. Glucosinolates are antioxidants that have been studied for their ability to protect against certain types of cancer 38 , Some studies have also found that cabbage consumption may lead to a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes 40 , A versatile vegetable, cabbage is easy to add to your diet.

Compared to other winter squash varieties, butternut squash provides a higher amount of nutrients. There are several different ways to enjoy butternut squash. Brown rice is a fantastic, cheap food that provides fiber, vitamins and minerals.

It consists mostly of carbs , with 3. The health benefits of brown rice include reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as promoting weight control 43 , 47 , 48 , Including brown rice in your diet is simple. It is quite easy to prepare and can be enjoyed with just about any meal.

It contains an impressive amount of nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium Fiber promotes fullness and may help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels 50 , 51 , 52 , 53 , The combination of fiber, vitamins and minerals in oatmeal may have the potential to reduce the risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity 50 , 56 , 57 , In general, oats are enjoyed as a breakfast food.

You can combine them with fruit, milk, yogurt and several other ingredients for a healthy and delicious meal. Canned beans are budget friendly, in addition to being very nutritious. Beans contain a significant amount of fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, magnesium and potassium Furthermore, they are an excellent source of plant-based protein.

There are Protein is beneficial for weight maintenance and muscle strength 60 , Consuming beans and other legumes is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. This is likely due to their ability to lower cholesterol and promote blood sugar control 62 , 63 , Beans can be incorporated into just about any dish.

They are commonly added to soups, salads and burritos. They also contain an impressive amount of protein and fiber, which is why they are so filling and helpful for weight control This may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer Research also suggests that eating lentils is associated with improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is important for preventing heart disease The use of lentils is similar to that of beans, and there are several ways that they can be incorporated into the diet, such as in salads and soups.

Edamame is a healthy food with a fairly low price. Studies show that edamame and other soy-based foods may help lower the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

This is often attributed to their content of isoflavones, which function as antioxidants in the body 70 , 71 , Most often, edamame is prepared as a steamed side dish. You can increase its flavor by adding seasonings of your choice. Quinoa is a complete source of protein , which means it provides all the essential amino acids your body needs.

This sets it apart from other grains, which need to be paired with other foods to be considered complete protein sources. Also, quinoa contains antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, manganese, zinc and several other trace minerals, all of which protect your cells from damage that often leads to disease The health-promoting properties of quinoa have been shown to promote brain health and may help prevent the development of heart disease 74 , Quinoa is also a great nutrient-dense grain that is safe for people with celiac disease The use of quinoa in cooking is similar to that of rice.

With only 31 calories per cup 8 grams , you can eat a lot of it without gaining weight Furthermore, popcorn provides some filling fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants, as well as a fair amount of B vitamins and magnesium To make air-popped popcorn, place one-fourth cup of popcorn kernels into a brown paper bag and heat it in the microwave until it stops popping.

Add toppings of your choice, such as olive oil, sea salt or Parmesan cheese. They are full of some important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese Additionally, bananas provide a decent amount of fiber, which may benefit digestive health, promote weight loss and protect against diabetes 20 , You can enjoy bananas as a quick snack food.

They also taste great combined with peanut butter or yogurt. They are prized for their vitamin C content. They also provide fiber, antioxidants and lots of other nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium and potassium Consuming oranges and other fruits on a regular basis has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, thus lowering the risk of several conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity 80 , It is simple to add oranges to your diet.

They are fairly convenient and can be enjoyed as a snack on their own or mixed with yogurt, salads and smoothies.

Berries are nutrition superstars and reasonably priced when you purchase them frozen. Their incredible antioxidant content makes them one of the healthiest fruits you can eat.

In fact, berries are considered to be one of the best sources of natural antioxidants To reap the health benefits of berries, try to include them in your diet regularly. They make for a delicious snack or healthy dessert and can be added to smoothies and salads.

One medium apple contains two grams of fiber, which is mostly responsible for the positive effects that apples have been shown to have on serum cholesterol levels 89 , Moreover, apples provide some vitamin C, B vitamins and trace minerals, as well as several antioxidants.

Eating them regularly may help lower inflammation in the body, which is a major risk factor for several chronic diseases 85 , 89 , They are an easy, convenient food to add to your diet and commonly consumed as a snack or chopped into a salad.

One of its notable characteristics is its low calorie content. There are only 53 calories in one cup of cantaloupe, making it a weight loss friendly food 92 , Like other orange vegetables and fruits, cantaloupe contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, which has powerful health benefits such as cancer and heart disease prevention They are also high in fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants, all of which work together to protect your cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic disease Canned fish has many health benefits and is significantly cheaper than fresh seafood.

Additionally, fish provides a decent amount of the trace mineral selenium, which may boost immune system health and protect against cancer You can pair canned fish with salads, sandwiches, crackers and avocado or use it in several dishes, such as seafood cakes and stir-fries.

In only three ounces of ground pork, there are 22 grams of protein, in addition to a significant amount of B vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, iron and selenium

Potatoes. 4/ Serving Size: 1 medium potato Sweet Potatoes. 5/ Serving size: 1 medium sweet potato Sardines. 6/ Serving size: About 4 ounces

44 Healthy Foods Under $1

Affordable nutritious options - Oats. 3/ Serving size: ½ cup (dry) Potatoes. 4/ Serving Size: 1 medium potato Sweet Potatoes. 5/ Serving size: 1 medium sweet potato Sardines. 6/ Serving size: About 4 ounces

Sweet potatoes are also high in potassium, but they contain a little more fiber as well as beta carotene. Both types of potatoes are versatile.

Try making homemade french fries, mashed potatoes, or serve up a baked potato bar with your favorite toppings for an easy, family-friendly dinner. Lentils are popular in many plant-based diets.

They are very affordable and provide a great source of protein, fiber, iron and manganese. They also contain antioxidants that may help to fight inflammation and reduce the onset of chronic diseases.

Lentils can be used in a variety of ways and are very easy to prepare. Simply rinse dry lentils to remove any debris, place them in a large pot and fill it halfway with water.

Let the lentils simmer until they're tender, then enjoy! Lentils can be used to make veggie burgers, soups and stews. Popcorn is often associated with binge-watching your favorite TV show or movie, but it can be enjoyed as a healthy snack at any time.

Popcorn provides fiber, magnesium and several disease-fighting antioxidants. Plain popcorn is also relatively low in calories, making it a helpful snack for those wanting to lose weight. The great thing about popcorn is that it's very versatile. You can add toppings such as sea salt and cheese for a savory treat, or cinnamon and sugar for a delicious sweet treat.

It can be expensive to buy pre-popped popcorn in bags or microwaveable pouches, so purchasing kernels helps make this nutritious snack more affordable. You can pop the kernels yourself in the microwave with just a brown bag. Frozen berries are easy to keep on hand and can be very cost-effective when compared to fresh fruit.

A couple of great choices to keep on hand are frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries. Check the bags and buy berries without added sugar. Blueberries may be small in size, but they are rich in nutrients and are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Blueberries have been linked to improved cardiovascular health and can contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle. Strawberries are also high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as folate.

They are also rich in antioxidants. A review in Nutrients of studies done with strawberries and blueberries found they helped reduce inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity and helped keep blood pressure in check, among other benefits. Add frozen berries to your favorite smoothie recipe or make a yogurt parfait with them.

Frozen berries can be used to make jams, pies and other desserts. Tuna is a smart choice for those wanting to increase their fish intake while still keeping their groceries affordable. Tuna is a great source of protein, and it also contains some omega-3 fatty acids , which are important for brain health and reducing inflammation.

Tuna also provides a fair amount of the minerals selenium, phosphorus and potassium. Choose canned tuna for salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes. Eggs are a staple item in most homes. They're extremely nutritious and typically cost less than 20 cents per egg.

A whole large egg contains 6 grams of protein and delivers some vitamin D as well. Eggs also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health and decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

We often think of eggs for breakfast, but they can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Look to eggs to make a savory dinner quiche, vegetable-packed fried rice or egg salad sandwiches.

Now that we've got a list of healthy, budget-friendly foods to keep on hand, let's explore a few more ways to help you save even more money on your grocery bill. Most people don't realize this, but the ingredients in store-brand products are usually similar to brand-name products.

So, instead of paying extra money for well-known brands, look for generic or store-brand products instead. Before you head to the grocery store, take inventory of everything that you have on hand.

You may be surprised to find a few extra cans of chickpeas, or some leftover broccoli that may be on the verge of going bad. To help avoid food waste and save a little money, try to make recipes with these items first. Get creative with what you have. Nonperishable items, such as grains, rice, nuts and beans, are typically cheaper when purchased in bulk or larger containers.

Even though a larger container of rice will be more expensive, look for the unit price when you shop. That will tell you how much you're paying per pound or ounce so you can compare packages and get the best deal. When you bring bulk items home, distribute them into smaller portions to help with storage, then use them as needed.

Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season can help keep the price down. Sometimes, but not always, shopping for local produce at your farmers' market can be more affordable. To help fresh produce last longer, some fruits and vegetables, like strawberries, peaches and onions, can be frozen.

You can try washing and storing them in a freezer bag, and placing them in the freezer until you're ready to use them. When fruits and veggies aren't in season, stock up on nutritious frozen produce. Meal prepping is a great way to save money. Planning your meals can help prevent those unnecessary grocery trips during the week.

Meal prepping doesn't have to be hard. It can be as simple as preparing a big batch of soup on the weekend, and portioning it out to last throughout the week. Use limited data to select advertising.

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Understand audiences through statistics or combinations of data from different sources. Coupons are a great way to save on your grocery bill, especially if you have your shopping list planned out. You can search for online coupons for the ingredients on your list. With over a billion coupons available each year, you will likely find a coupon that you can use.

Even low-value cents-off coupons can really add up. Items like canned tomatoes, milk, olive oil, and frozen fruits and vegetables are usually available in a cheaper store brand version.

Learning which store brands your grocery store carries can help you reduce your total at the cash register. Visit the ADCES website to learn more about diabetes self-management education and support DSMES services and how diabetes educators can help you create a meal plan that fits your health needs, tastes, and budget.

If you can, growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money and have fresh produce at your fingertips. Having a constant supply of fresh produce at home can save you money at the store.

Diabetes meal plans for healthy eating are not one size fits all. Work with a diabetes care and education specialist to create a meal plan that fits your health needs, tastes, and budget.

Skip directly to site content Skip directly to search. Español Other Languages. Español Spanish. Minus Related Pages. Adapt recipes to fit your needs. A diabetes care and education specialist can customize your diabetes diet for your specific needs.

Choosing meals that help manage your blood sugar is key to managing your diabetes. If you love pasta dishes, but your diabetes meal plan has you following a low-carb diet, you can search recipes that use veggie noodles instead of traditional noodles.

These are great alternatives to increase your vegetable intake and keep your blood sugar from spiking. Use recipes with common ingredients. Using different herbs and spices can turn common ingredients into meals with different flavors. If your favorite protein is chicken, cook one whole chicken and use it for several different dishes.

You can have chicken and vegetable stir fry one night and chicken fajitas another night. Find ways to stretch a recipe. You can stretch meals by making dishes that freeze well. Search online for delicious healthy recipes like soups and casseroles that are budget-friendly and easy meals to stretch.

For example, make a large batch of vegetable soup or white bean chicken chili that can last throughout the week, or freeze the leftovers to have later. Learn More. Living With Diabetes Eat Well Get Diabetes Education and Support Diabetes Food Hub CDC Diabetes on Facebook CDCDiabetes on Twitter.

Page last reviewed: September 20, Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many places host weekly farmers' markets where local farmers sell fresh food nutritiouz, often cheaper than the grocery store. Using different herbs Affordable nutritious options hutritious can turn Fragrance product samples Agfordable into meals with different flavors. Organic skincare free samples instead of expensive, processed optiins packed Product testing services sugar, such as cakes, Affordable nutritious options, and muffins, there are healthier ways to satisfy a sweet tooth. While they're not typically able to prescribe, nutritionists can still benefits your overall health. Onions are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, including quercetin, a powerful antioxidant shown to dampen inflammation, support immunity, protect the heart and reduce your risk of cancer. For example, combining foods in different bowls and creating different sauces and seasonings can add variety and interest to your meals. Add rice, pasta, fresh or frozen vegetables, beans, or whole grains to meat to make delicious, filling meals.

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