Is Eating Healthy on a Budget During the Holidays an Oxymoron?
RADFORD -- Today’s holiday grocery shopper is often thinking three things when they go to the supermarket: fast, tasty and inexpensive. This, unfortunately, can shortchange nutrition. With a little advanced planning and supermarket “savvy,” however, it is possible for families to enjoy healthy meals and a sound budget this holiday season, according to a nutrition expert at Radford University.
Holiday feasts can present nutritional challenges.
“The recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans contends that ‘good health and optimal functionality across the life span are achievable goals but require a lifestyle approach including a total diet that is energy balanced and nutrient dense,’” said Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics Mary Jean Miller. “The holidays pose special challenges as we are traveling or visiting with friends and family. However, by making moderate but sustainable changes we can achieve this goal.”
It does cost a bit more to eat well and it has become more difficult to eat healthy on a budget in current economic times, according to Miller. The cost of nutrient-dense foods has risen considerably more than foods high in solid fats and added sugars.
Miller offers these tips for holiday shoppers:
Miller also encourages individuals to remember one final aspect of mealtime this holiday season. “Eating has importance for us beyond the need to nourish our bodies,” said Miller. “Sharing meals together, especially during the holidays, is a means of celebrating tradition and connecting with family and friends.”
December 16, 2010