March 12, 2009
EATING RIGHT CAN BE COST EFFECTIVE DURING NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH
COLUMBIA, Tenn. — When money is tight and time is short, it may seem difficult to maintain a healthy diet. However, during National Nutrition Month in March, dietitians at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) remind community members that mealtime doesn’t have to be costly when trying to eat right.
According to a recent American Dietetic Association (ADA) consumer survey, the majority of people consider convenience to be the biggest factor in selecting a meal. However, the economic recession has affected Americans’ mealtimes as well, including limiting the amount of money people are spending at restaurants.
“A healthy meal doesn’t have to be a big expensive production,” said Cindy Dugger, registered dietitian at MRMC. “With just a little bit of planning, meals can be convenient, healthy and inexpensive.”
Dugger suggest ways to save money and still maintain a healthy diet:
- Follow portions for protein: You can still keep your costs low when shopping in the meat section. Remember that a portion of meat is the size of a deck of cards. A pound of chicken breasts could last for two meals if you follow portion control.
- Even small amounts of advance planning pay off: Search online for easy one-pot recipes. Many recipe Web sites offer nutrition information and grocery lists for their meals. You can find dinner options that can last for more than one night.
- Make a meatless meal: Beans are an excellent source of protein and are also an inexpensive way to create a healthy meal.
- Think outside the crisper: Frozen fruits and vegetables will last longer than fresh versions from the produce department and are equally nutritious.
- Don’t throw money away: Keep leftovers safe by refrigerating them quickly, use before they go bad and you can stretch one meal into a few. Rice and pasta can help stretch out a small amount of leftovers.
“You don’t have to completely overhaul your kitchen to eat right,” said Dugger. “Just a few small changes can help you and your family eat right.”
For more information on National Nutrition Month, visit the ADA at www.eatright.org.