By Amy Kweller, MS, RD
March is National Nutrition Month! For 2018, the theme was Go Further with Food, encouraging us to reap the rewards of eating well while reducing food waste. To put it another way, planning and managing food resources saves both nutrients and money! The message of eating well while saving money is particularly close to my heart, and who doesn’t want more money in the bank?
You can think about nutrition status as a bank. We have nutrients stored in the body; when we eat we make a deposit and when we’re active we make a withdrawal. Each day, the goal is to maintain appropriate fuel for living our best lives, and the same idea is true for your food budget. By eating mindfully, you’ll get more out of your resources on hand rather than you get when you rely on the bank. How can you eat well, waste less, and save more money? Start with these six steps…
1. Plan ahead! Some people spend an afternoon preparing food for the week. My weekends are too busy for this, but I still manage to plan at least 1-2 days ahead to prevent splurging. This means I eat better and spend less on food!
2. Visit the grocery store more often. This seems counterintuitive, but shopping more often means you can purchase less at a time, have fresher food on hand, and waste less food.
3. This may be the easiest change to make: Think about what you already have in the fridge before purchasing at the store. This deters spending more and prevents food waste!
4. Eat only until you’re satisfied. Overeating means spending more calories and money over time. Instead, portion out how much your body needs and slow down!
5. Fuel properly. Being active is important, so fuel your body with a wide variety of foods to go further.
6. Think about alternatives to more expensive foods. Usually, the most expensive choices are animal proteins and out-of-season or exotic produce. Consider vegetarian protein choices, such as legumes, whole grains, eggs, and low-fat dairy. Likewise, choose fruit and vegetables that are in season, or choose frozen or low-sodium canned options. Some fruit, such as pears, are available year-round for a delicious, nutritious option!
With a little forethought, you can go further with food. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for more ideas!
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About Amy Kweller, MS, RD
As a Registered Dietitian, I have a professional relationship with pears. But as someone who loves great food, I also have a personal relationship with pears! So there is no better way to spend my time than blogging about this lovely fruit. I will blog about pears from farm to table; healthy living, cooking, and recipes; the therapeutic benefits of pears and a wholesome diet; and how pears can fit into your lifestyle. I have a background in clinical and community nutrition, and teaching others how to lead healthy, fulfilling lives is my goal and passion – so send me your questions. My hope is that everyone who visits this site will find something that lingers long after the browser closes, and I expect that will be a deeper love of pears!