Tag Archives: meal planning

grocery cart with healthy foods

Shopping Smart on a Budget

Did you know that the average supermarket carries 39,500 different items? With so many options, how do you shop smart and make the best choices for your family? When you’re trying to eat smart on a budget, grocery shopping can be hard. But it is possible to save money and still eat well. It just takes some planning. These are the five best ways to shop smart on a budget. Continue reading

quick healthy breakfast ideas

Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day. We’ve heard this message from moms since the beginning of time. And they’re right. People who eat breakfast were more likely to have higher levels of important nutrients in their overall diets, better focus and performance in schools and at work, and a healthier weight status. With all these benefits, why aren’t more people eating breakfast? Mainly a lack of time during busy mornings and for some people, not having much of an appetite in the morning. Both of these issues have solutions, so keep reading for quick, healthy breakfast ideas. Continue reading

food storage

Easy-To-Freeze Meals For The Holidays

The holiday season is a busy, sometimes stressful time of year for families. When your schedule gets full, cooking can feel like a chore, making the drive-thru so much more appealing. But we all know takeout isn’t the healthiest option for a family meal. So what’s a busy mom to do? Reach into the freezer for a healthy meal that’s ready to heat and eat!

The following recipes are some of FNP’s best freeze ahead meals. Continue reading

Matthew’s SNAP Challenge Introduction

Today’s post is the first in a series written by a dietetic intern working with us over the past month. As part of their internship experiences, I like to have them do a SNAP Challenge to better understand the experiences of people trying to eat smart on a tight budget. ~Austin

My name is Matthew D’Aria. I am a dietetic intern from Meredith College. I did my undergraduate and graduate work at Virginia Tech within the Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise department. My interest in the field of dietetics is to work with overweight/obese children and their caretakers. I want to help them reach a happy and healthy lifestyle together.

Playing with pasta

My love for food stems from my Italian heritage.

I am about to attempt to eat on an average SNAP budget for one week. I will try to only spend $43.10 on groceries, the maximum allotment for a college-aged male. I will also be taking advantage of the doubling program at the farmers market for a total of $20 of extra matching funds.  

I look forward to this challenge because I can only imagine how difficult it can be to plan meals on such a tight budget. This experience will help influence my practice as a registered dietitian, allowing me to have first-hand experience of the challenges of living on SNAP benefits, which will help me connect with potential future clients. One strategy I plan to use is to eat mindfully. Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to your body and the sight, smell, taste, and pleasure of food when eating. This will help me feel satisfied and not focus on the fact that I am eating less than I usually do.

I have never been on SNAP benefits before and I have never had to pay much attention to sticking to a budget or plan my meals. I do not expect this to be easy for me because I am not use to having restrictions on the amount of food I can buy and eat. With my busy schedule as a dietetic intern, I plan to prep ahead as much as possible. With that said, tonight I will be making overnight oatmeal so I can have breakfast ready to go in the morning. Unfortunately, it’s getting late now, so I may have to wait until tomorrow to get started on the rest.

Meal Planning Help for the Busy Family

Do you struggle with meal planning? Do you prepare meals for your family or just yourself? Whether you are cooking for one or more, meal planning is a skill that takes practice be learned. Even if you know how to plan and shop in advance, it still requires something precious and costly – your time.

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