Six tips for getting the necessary fruits and vegetables on a budget
Getting enough fruits and vegetables is important for a balanced diet and your overall health, but fresh fruits and vegetables can add up on the food bill, especially when out of season. But there are ways you can get the most nutrition out of your food dollar.
Canada’s Food Guide recommends four servings of fruits and vegetables for children 2 to 3 years; five for children 4 to 8 years; six for children 9 to 13 years; seven for girls 14 to 18 years; eight for boys 14 to 18 years; seven to eight for women 19 to 50 years; eight to ten for men 19 to 50 years; and seven for all adults 51 years or older.
“Following Canada’s Food Guide will help you meet your nutritional needs while reducing your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers,” says Veruschka Muller, a Clinical Dietitian at The Scarborough Hospital.
Here are some tips on how to help ensure you get the fruits and vegetables you need without breaking your food budget.
- Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and skip those that are not.
- Freeze or can foods yourself for use in the winter months when fresh, local produce is limited.
- Turn your leftover vegetables into soups or stews.
- Always look at the clearance produce. Some of these items might be ideal for tonight’s dinner or for adding to a loaf or muffins.
- Root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots and turnips are often well priced and typically keep well much longer than other vegetables.
- Frozen vegetables can be a nutritious and economical choice. Avoid purchasing ones in sauces which can increase the cost and the calories.