Every month is dedicated to something, and March is no exception. March is National Nutrition Month. This seems very appropriate with spring, a time of new beginnings, arriving this month. Summer, a time for the freshest fruits and vegetables, will not be far behind. The theme for National Nutrition Month 2013 is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” What this theme aims to encourage is healthy eating in a personalized way. Not everyone has the same tastes, lifestyle, food allergies, or cultural background, which as are all things that dictate the foods we eat. Much like all of our home care clients do not have the same healthcare needs. MAS understands that in order to best help patients, they need personalized care.
Today let’s focus on eating right on a budget. Most seniors have a fixed income and clients with disabilities and illnesses face the added burden of medical bills. Unfortunately fresh healthy foods are not always the least expensive option in the market, especially with US food prices on the rise. With a little knowledge and some smart planning it is possible to eat right with a tight budget though.
Most of the savings comes with good planning. There are some things you can do to make sure you don’t overspend at the market. Plan your meals for the week ahead of time. You will know exactly what ingredients you need to purchase and can avoid buying produce you may never get to and end up throwing out. Take advantage of those weekly coupon circulars too. You can clip them while watching TV (and the motion of cutting helps keep those fine motor skills in tune!)
If you are able, start your own vegetable garden. Not only will it yield healthy foods with little financial input, but it can also be therapeutic to nurture a garden. People who are unable to get out in the dirt could tend to a couple of small pots of herbs by the kitchen window.
For the produce you do buy in the store, shopping by fruits and vegetables in season is often the most economical. For those that aren’t, there are canned or frozen options. By purchasing according to the season, not only will you save money and get the freshest foods, but you may also find new foods that you enjoy.
Last but certainly not least, look for store brands. A store brand product is often 15-20 percent less expensive than the brand name. The quality of the food is often the same though. (Note: Store brands are usually placed high or low on the shelf, so don’t always grab what’s at eye level right away.)
These are only 4 ideas for keeping your budget in the black while getting healthy foods your body needs. Check out eatright.org or choosemyplate.gov for more money saving tips and ideas for healthy meals.
Two benefits of home care New Hampshire patients receive are meal preparation and the option of having someone to run errands, like grocery shopping, for them. Speak to your MAS caregiver about wanting to eat right and developing a plan for healthy meals. If you or your loved one do not have a home care caregiver, but are concerned about the ability to make or acquire the necessary items to meet nutritional needs, call MAS Home Care to set up a consultation.
MAS Home Care provides a variety of in-home care services in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine!