Many fathers have resolved to eat healthier and feed their families more nutritiously in the new year. But this is often easier said than done – hitting the drive-thru, ordering take out or popping a pre-made frozen entrée into the oven can be easier and quicker than the time and effort needed to prepare a healthier, more affordable meal. But there are a lot of healthy, budget-friendly staples that may help those looking for other options.
Planning a week’s worth of menus at a time is helpful to keep fathers on track while doing the grocery shopping, according to Geisinger Medical Center dietician Karen Bird.
She also suggests choosing frozen fruits and vegetables to stay on budget. "Frozen produce actually can be healthier than the fresh variety. It is on the plant or tree longer than the fresh variety, so it’s packed with a higher nutrient value," she said.
Bird says stocking up on staples like rice and pasta can ensure healthier at-home meals as well. Buying in bulk is a smart option, as is replenishing the pantry only when these items are on sale.
Good options for family meals include chili, stews and soups, stir-frys and tacos since they can be made in advance often using inexpensive frozen vegetables and grains. They also tend to last for more than one meal or can be frozen for another time.