Healthy Eating on a Budget...


So after watching Food Inc, I can honestly say that I am sick to my stomach.
I am also mad! How can it be OK to sell meat that has been treated like that.
I guess I never thought about it before, I just saw meat in a package. Nice color, clean, no bones. Easy and convenient for me.

This has encouraged me to become more healthy.
Its not that we eat "bad", We don't drink pop, don't eat chips, don't eat at McDonalds, and we have a home cooked meal almost every day and we take our vitamins.

Is that all to it?



My first thought is to go to whole foods and buy only organic products. But we cant afford that.

I need your advice ladies

What are your tips and tricks for eating healthy on a budget?


One more thing, my kids hate vegetables (cooked or raw), how do you get your kids to eat their veggies?






20 comments:

  1. I would love to be able to buy all of my foods from the food co-op organically. My budget laughs in my face when I tell it that. Luckily, we're able to grow our own garden and I can/freeze a good amount. We also live on a farm so we have our own eggs and we raise beef, sheep, and chickens.
    My advice...buy organic where it makes the biggest impact in your food. If you eat lots of chicken, buy that organically, etc.
    There are a lot of great blogs out there about switching to whole foods.
    One way to make it easy on your budget is to make it yourself. For example, I have a little one who is a chocolate addict so we let him have chocolate milk to get his "fix". But it's full of high fructose corn syrup and other things I can't pronounce. So I started making it myself from a recipe my grandma gave me. It still has sugar but I can control the ingredients.

    As far as eating fruits and vegetables. I've found if I let them pick out the vegetable at the store, they are more willing to try it. Though sometimes that doesn't work either.

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    1. I love vegetables, and my kids see that I eat them with love, and they naturally love them too. We never made a big issue over what they should eat, and they always eat raw bell peppers, cucumber, salad, radishes, cabbage, etc. Just eat it with passion, and your kids will, too. :)

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  2. I don't have kids but I have a picky husband who doesn't love veggies. If you can sneak them in places they're not expecting it- like grind them up small in a food processor and cook them with your meat when you're having something like spaghetti- I add a ton of veggies to my jarred pasta sauce. Buying all organic is hard- I second Lisa's idea of buying organic where it makes the biggest impact. And then try to get as high of quality meat as you can everywhere else- the discount packages of meat are the worst.

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  3. If the parents eat veggies and serve them for trying, kids will start eating them at some point. Just tell them to taste it. that is how my kid started eating veggies.
    Also, try to add finely shredded carrots to the meatball recipe. They are not going to notice a small amount of vegetables sneaked in to the meat.

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  4. a really good blog I have found for cheaper healthy living recipes is http://www.skinnytaste.com/. I don't buy organic produce because I just really don't feel that its that big of a deal but I do buy organic meats, eggs, and milk. I get my organic eggs at Costco for dirt cheap. A lot of stores are starting to have store brand organic meats as well as milk. Just read the labels, they don't always have a big flashy organic label on them.

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  5. They say when kids grow food they are much more likely to eat it. Get em in the garden, let them pick the seeds, and help em' make it live!

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  6. oh i have a almost 6 year old who does not eat veggies at all. i've tried the things "they" say will encourage veggie eating, but there still isn't any interest in trying. we have a veggie garden, she cooks with me, i put them on her plate (but have since stopped doing that since i would just end up throwing them out, both the husband and i eat veggies, etc... i don't believe in "hiding" food in food and will let her come around when she's ready. she also doesn't eat meat since "it's not nice to kill animals." totally understandable.

    as far as eating organically, it it expensive and not (family)budget friendly. i tend to try and buy local first, even if it isn't all organic. i'd rather support and get to know my local farmer who farms "naturally" and maybe not totally organically set my governmental regulations. i'd rather buy food that has been grown and ripened within 50 miles of my home vs. organic food picked too early and then shipped 100's or 1000s of miles away leaving a huge carbon footprint.

    you can also get a list of foods that are more susceptible to toxins and which are okay to buy non-organic (think berries vs. bananas which have a very think skin.) that might save you some $ and peace of mind.

    splurge where you feel the most compelled to. meat? dairy? fruits/veggies?

    most importantly, do what you feels right for your family. works every single time.

    time for me to step off my soap box now.

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    1. Thank you! She sees me eating veggies,I put veggies on her plate and just end up throwing them out. I think when she is ready, she will eat them. I remember I hated mushrooms for the longest time until I was older, Now I love them.

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  7. I found that if you cover it in cheese or pasta sauce...or put it on a pizza, that usually works. We try to buy what is in season and try to work around what is on sale when we go shopping.

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    1. I tried that, yet she still manages to find even the smallest mushroom or bell pepper in her pizza.

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  8. mine is the same exact way with vegtables. i've tried all even jerry seinfield's wife's book "deliciously deceptive" he will not eat it i really think its a texture thing. so i give him V8 Fusion (not the light) and one 8oz glass a day gives them all the servings they need in a day. he loves it, it has a much more fruity juice flavor not vegtable. it's not the best option but it is better than nothing. i'm ur newest follower, can't wait to dig in. i hope you'd consider coming over and checking out my blog and following along!
    Michelle @ http://allthatglitter-mwimp.blogspot.com/

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  9. We were already eating pretty healthy but seeing Food, Inc. sort of cemented some of our food decisions for us. We are lucky to have an Amish Market close to us where we buy all our fruits, veggies, meat (including lunch meat), cheese and snack food. Knowing that the meat we buy was not once traipsing around in mud and being fed who knows what chemically treated feed, makes us feel a lot better about what we eat and give our child to eat. We are fortunate that shopping at the Amish Market, prices are not usually too high. I think it's cheaper than buying anything organic from the super market. I'm also not convinced that an "organic" label means the food is actually as fresh and unprocessed as it could be. Farmer's markets are a main stop when they're open during the Spring and summer.

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  10. My husband is a huge environmentalist, so we buy as much organic that we possible. We also avoid meat and have occasional poultry or fish. What I love the most is getting our vegetables delivered from a fairly local farm. It's fresh and organic. We even have to scrub the dirt off the carrots! My parents grow their own vegetables so that they can have organic without buying it. If you have the time and place to garden, it's a great way to get fresh, healthy fruits and veg. If the kids are involved in the gardening, it might also encourage them to eat what they grow. Mine love picking and eating fruit and veg straight from the garden (a little dirt don't hurt). Best of luck!

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  11. Go organic where it counts. With fruits and veggies, check out the "dirty dozen" list and the "clean 15". They tell you which fruits and veggies are higher in chemical residues and which are fairly safe (a google search pulls those up). We're in the same process--it can be so overwhelming! I'm working on taking baby steps.

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  12. I would say to hide your veggies in unexpected places. I make a "mexican style" meatloaf for my family. It's basically meatloaf with onions and bellpeppers and you add corn and some black beans. It tastes very yummy. Serve with salsa on top instead of ketchup.

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  13. You can hide vegetables by blending them into the pizza sauce, and spagetti sauce, you can also make tons of soups the same way. Lentils, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic in pot with some broth, cook, blend, lunch is finished. I also make tons of green smoothies, if you think she wont eat them because they are green throw in blueberries and then its purple, that way they get enough greens and fruits.

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  14. I am a nanny, and one of the things I have learned is to use jarred baby food or pureed veggies and add them to sauces or things like that. And no one knows the difference unless you tell them. I also make smoothies all the time with frozen yogurt and organic fruit puree. Good luck and hope this all helps

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  15. I try to feed my kids the vegies they love. Other things, like mushrooms, literally make them gag, so I don't force those. But if it's something they can eat, like they love green beans, cucumbers, salads, peas, tomatoes...well, they like most vegies, but if it's something they aren't keen on, they know they won't get any dessert if they don't eat up their vegetables. A few nights without dessert, or a favorite movie, or whatever really gets them thinking, and they'll eat them up. :) Also, as far as eating organic, I find the things I really want to eat organic: like I've read that eating tomatoes from a can is really bad b/c the metal leaches into them. So I buy organic sauces, but I only buy it when it's on sale: like this week they were 2 for $5 jars (a jar makes a meal for the five of us), plus they had coupons for buy 2 get $1 off. So I bought 4 jars and just cut something else our of the list for this week (we're on a super tight budget right now). I usually only buy items that are on sale, but try to get at least one fresh organic green item each week: last week it was Organic Kale, and I added it in everything: chopped it up and added it to the spaghetti sauce, added it to some soup, added the last of it to gumbo. This week, the Romaine organic hearts was on sale, so I bought those and some tomatoes and cucumber (also on sale) and we'll have salad all week. Sometimes it's asparagus that is on sale. Green things are the most power-packed, it seems. I also always get one fruit, but they don't have to be organic. Bananas, oranges, pineapple are usally my choice, depending on what's on sale. It is smart to check out the worst offenders for non-organic. I never buy strawberries from the store. Not worth all the stuff sprayed on them. Local produce is much higher in nutrient content. If it comes to buying from a local farm or organic from far away, I tend to chose the local farm. But that's just me. You have to choose what's most important to you. :) Sorry I kind of rambled on a bunch. It's just a close issue to my heart at the moment as well. :)

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  16. I have gotten a lot of use out of my food processor. When I make hamburger patties, I add shredded carrots to the meat mixture. I also add them to meat and finely chopped potatoes, wrap them in crescent rolls, and call them meat pies. I think she thinks the orange is cheese. My daughter just bites into the bread (which she loves) and doesn't notice the flecks of orange. Also, buying mushroom and squash stuffed raviolis at whole foods tricks her into eating them. She prefers the cheese ones, but I throw in some of the vege filled ones and she likes them. She loves raviolis so much, that she doesn't hesitate before eating them. When we are having green beans (a favorite for everyone else in the family), I put a smaller portion of the main dish on my picky eaters plate and 3-4 beans on her plate. When she asks for seconds, she knows she has to finish her small portion of vegetables first. We talk to her not only about the health benefits of vegetables, but also the price difference between the main dish and the vegetables. She knows that it isn't good on our budget to eat extra of the most expensive part of the meal. We need the leftovers for lunch the next day. My picky eater is 10 and can understand that rationalization. Your little one won't grasp it yet. We have made great strides in her vegetable eating habits. Now she will eat salads and corn without hesitation.

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  17. I understand where eating healthy on a budget is tough. I too, suffer this problem. I would say organic is better, but not ALWAYS key. There's certain things to look for, low calorie, always choose whole wheat, and you can never go wrong with chicken and turkey. I do not have kids, but I am a mid 20s girl, who momma never made eat her veggies. I would absolutely say convince your kiddos to try them. that was the hardest part for me. I have also discovered that I only like fresh or frozen veggies, nothing in a can. Also, the crunchier the better. I know as a kid, I was big on texture, so that made a big difference for me! Good luck!!!

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