Healthy Eating on a Budget
FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Keeping our families healthy is a priority for everyone right now. While food alone can’t prevent all illness – a balanced diet helps keep your body’s disease-fighting mechanisms in top shape! Fruits and vegetables are an important source of fibre, potassium and immune-boosting antioxidants like vitamins A and C. Use these tips to find ways to squeeze these nutritious items into your grocery budget, and to help ensure you and your family stay as healthy as possible.
1. Get them on ice!
Frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh versions! You can often find large bags full of antioxidant goodness on sale in your freezer aisle. Use mixed veggies in pastas, strifries, or lightly steamed as a simple side dish.
2. Don’t Fear the Can!
Canned veggies and fruit often get a bad-rap but there are plenty of redeeming nutritious qualities to these budget-friendly items! Ideally, look for veggies canned without added sodium and fruits canned in juice or water rather than syrup, but if these are not readily available to you, any canned fruit or vegetable will still provide a good dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals!
3. Shop Seasonally!
Shopping for produce “in season” means we skip paying big fees for delivery from other countries. To see what’s currently in season check out Foodland Ontario – www.ontario.ca/foodland
4. When buying bulk – think long-term!
Bulk buying almost always saves money and helps to limit your time spent in the grocery store but it’s not helpful if your food spoils before you can eat it! Some fresh fruits and veggies can be purchased in larger amounts and, if stored properly can last up to 2 weeks (or longer if you freeze them). Try looking for root veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, beets and onions or fruits like apples or citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes). For tips on proper storage to get the longest possible shelf-life for your produce visit halfyourplate.ca for their handy home storage guide How to Store Fruits and Veggies
5. Consider Planting a Garden
If you can wait for them, seeds are inexpensive and can produce a ton of nutritious food! Spring has (almost!) sprung and now is a great time to start a few simple plants indoors. When the weather warms up (typically mid-may) these can be transplanted outdoors. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space – many foods can be grown in small pots on a balcony or porch. Try easy to grow options like cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes or beans. Alternatively, look for community gardens like the one at the Galilee Center – Community Gardens