- Eat breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day and the most common one to skip. It’s also typically the fastest and the cheapest to make. Think oatmeal, toast, eggs, pancakes, fruit, low-fat milk. Just eating breakfast helps charge your brain and body.
- Buy staples. Beans, pasta, and oats are really inexpensive and filling. Canned fish or frozen vegetables don’t go bad before you can use them. Eggs are a very inexpensive protein as are beans and peanut butter.
- Plan ahead. When you are hungry and rushed, it is hard to think of budget foods. Make a slow-cooker recipe that will last several meals. Divide the food into several containers to make it easier to reheat. Or, keep the ingredients for an inexpensive meal on a shelf so you don’t have to think what to make when you are tired. A nutritious meal includes something from each food group: grain, meat, fruit, vegetable, and milk.
- Watch what you drink. Coffee, soda, energy drinks, and alcohol can be dehydrating and costly. Water and milk are healthy and inexpensive. Refillable water bottles pay for themselves within days.
-pointers from Peggy
eat, food cost, food preparation, plan, shop
Families in Iowa are getting ready for summer vacation. I’ve heard several discussions concerning how old children should be to stay home by themselves part or all of the day, household rules, and how to get siblings to get along when the parents are gone.
Eating is another routine that changes during the summer. Kids often get up later since they don’t have to go to school, they may skip breakfast, and just snack all day instead of eating meals.
Sitting down to plan lunch meals with your kids is a good idea. This way the menu includes foods they like and can make themselves. As for snacks, consider preparing two snack boxes—one for the refrigerator and one for the cupboard. Parents or adults choose what goes in the box and children choose what they would like to eat from the box. The University of Missouri Extension has a handout called Pack a snack box with healthy ideas for getting started.
Remember, you are in charge of buying food. If you only buy healthy foods, that’s what the kids will have to eat.
Next week, recipes for kids…
-pointers from Peggy
eat, food preparation, plan, resources, shop