Eating healthy can be a struggle on a student’s budget and lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you be successful in eating better throughout your busy week! The key is to make small changes one at a time, starting by aiming for the recommended 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies per day. This can include fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced produce. This might seem daunting at first, but if you remember that one serving of fruits and vegetables is only about the size of your fist, it may feel more manageable!
When selecting canned varieties of produce, try to select low sodium options. If you can’t, drain and rinse the liquid to wash off extra sodium. An important indication that most or all the sodium is rinsed off is when the water that you are rinsing with stops forming bubbles. Make sure that you are watching for added sugars in your canned fruits, too, as they can come packed in water, light syrup, or heavy syrup. You can also drain your fruits to help lower the amount of added sugar.
Tip number two for smart eating throughout the week is to plan your meals ahead of time and make them in big batches. Making your meals and portioning them out for each day before the week starts will save time during your week and help to make sure that you have healthy food easily accessible and readily available. The meals all don’t have to be the same either. For example, for two meals you could make a burrito bowl with rice, beans, chicken, corn, salsa, and whatever else you like in them. With meal prepping you may be able to use up the frozen bag of corn in the back of your freezer that is about to get freezer burn. Remember to shop your pantry first to use up things that you already have in order to save you time and money! You could use up the other half of the chicken you made for the burrito bowls in a noodle salad that you can warm up. These meals don’t have to be hard or time consuming – just have some fun with the process!
Meal prepping helps to not only save time but reduces the hassle of figuring out what’s for dinner after coming back from a long day and trying to make a meal. With meals prepared ahead of time, instead you can take out an already prepped meal and eat it right then and there. By considering what may go bad the fastest during your meal prep, you can save money by eating those things first so they don’t go bad. Not only is it good financially, but it also will save a lot of time during your week that you would have spent cooking otherwise.
Another money saving tip is to make a plan and a grocery list before heading to the grocery store. This is an easy way to make sure you get everything you need at the grocery store and have a plan to use those foods as well as keeping a budget. If you stick to your grocery list it will also help you avoid buying unhealthy impulse items which will also keep you eating healthy. We hope these tips can help you increase your fruit and veggie intake and feel good about it as well as save you time and money throughout the week – remember, small changes can have big effects.
Amidor, T. (2009, February 04). Healthier Convenience Options: Canned Foods. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/healthy-tips/2009/02/Healthier-convenience-options-canned-foods
Kadey, M. (2017, July). A Good Meal Plan for Health: Organizing Your Meals With A Healthy and a Little Menu Planning Know- How Can Help You Achieve An Optimal Diet, As Well As Save Time, Stress, and Money. Retrieved October 28, 2018, from www.environmentalnutrition.com