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Healthy eating on a budget

If you’re like most people, eating a healthier diet is near the top of your “to do” list. And, if you’re like most people, the reason you aren’t eating a healthier diet is because you think that one, or more, of these myths is true:

  • It costs too much to eat healthy
  • It takes too much time to cook healthy meals
  • Healthy meals are not kid-friendly

While many people still hold on to these myths, they simply aren’t true. Eating healthy can be easy, inexpensive and delicious. Let’s take a closer look at these common myths.

It costs too much to eat healthy

This may be the biggest myth of all. Eating a healthier diet is no harder than planning meals around grains, beans, legumes and produce instead of meat – which is often the most expensive part of any meal. Think about pasta dishes, chili, curries and rice-based meals. Experiment with other grains like barley, quinoa and farro. These grains are not just excellent sources of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, but they are very inexpensive and keep for a long time. Try different pasta like rice pasta, spelt or whole wheat for variety. And when you start thinking about meat, poultry and fish as an accent, or leaving it out of your meals altogether, you may find that eating a healthier diet is actually saving you money, too!

It takes too much time to cook healthy meals

People often confuse “healthy” meals with fancy or gourmet meals, but a healthy meal can take as little as 10 minutes to prepare! In the time that you can boil pasta, you can make a quick sauce with frozen, canned or fresh veggies, beans and a can of tuna or salmon. Another way to ensure you have quick, nutritious meals is to cook in bulk. It doesn’t take much more effort or time. Double, triple or even quadruple a recipe and then freeze it in meal-sized portions.

Healthy meals are not kid-friendly

It’s a sad reality that a lot of kids have had their palates trained to want the high fat, high sugar and high sodium provided by fast food. Getting children to eat healthier is often just a matter of making their favourite foods differently. For example, if they are used to fast food or frozen chicken nuggets, try making your own with fresh chicken and a coating of ground almonds. Cut up potatoes tossed in a bit of oil and baked is a less expensive and a more nutritious alternative to fast food or frozen french fries. Stretch your meat budget while increasing the nutrients and fibre in your kid’s favourite burgers by adding pureed black beans to your beef mixture. With a little experimenting and bit of googling, you can find healthier ways to prepare all of your family’s favourite meals.

ivari Wellness Quiz

Looking for more ways to be healthier? Why not take the ivari Wellness Quiz. It’s a fun way to start thinking about how you can be healthier and happier.