|State Says "Stretch Your Food Budget With Healthy Fruits and Veggies"|
Posted on September 08, 2009
STRETCH YOUR FOOD BUDGET WITH HEALTHY FRUITS AND VEGGIES
September is National Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Department of Health is offering tips to help home cooks
include the bountiful variety of fruits and vegetables in their meals while making
the most of their food budget as part of the observance of National Fruits & Veggies
- More Matters Month.
It is imperative that all Tennesseans have ready access to fresh fruits and
vegetables so the right food choice can be the easy choice, said Health Commissioner
Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. Careful spending doesnt mean you have to eat less healthy
foods. Eating fruits and vegetables is a sound investment in long-term health, and
can be a very inexpensive part of a healthy lifestyle.
Choosing fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients and offer high vitamin,
mineral and fiber content, will help you get as much nutritional value for your
money as possible. Some tips to help you stretch your food dollars include:
Cook enough for several meals and freeze leftovers
Buy fruits and vegetables in season at farmers markets or your local grocery store
Look for sales and deals on fruits and vegetables and stock up then
Grow your own vegetables - seeds cost just pennies and can reward you with a bounty
Get creative with your leftovers - make salsa from your tomatoes and smoothies from
Including a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks helps
maintain a healthy weight and may reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart
disease. All forms count as you work toward adding more to your diet: fresh, frozen,
canned, dried and 100 percent juice.
We want people to know they can find healthy foods that are very inexpensive. For
example, beans are a great source of protein and can be used in a variety of dishes,
said Melissa Blair, director of Nutrition and Wellness for TDOH. Vegetables such as
sweet potatoes and winter squash also have a long shelf life, so stock up when you
find a good bargain.
Individuals participating in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental
nutrition program are also receiving information about a new food package which
includes vouchers for fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. This program helps
provide healthy food, nutrition counseling and access to health services to
low-income women and children.
The TDOH Web site also offers tips for improving eating habits, including a cookbook
of simple, low cost recipes that have been taste-tested by teenagers. Visit the site
Fruits and Veggies - More Matters Month is a national public health initiative
sponsored by the Produce for a Better Health Foundation. For more ways to add fruits
and vegetables to your meals while watching your expenses, the foundation is sharing
30 Ways in 30 Days to Stretch Your Food Budget. For more information, visit
www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org ( http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/ ).