National Nutrition Month

Author Emilie Williamson, RDN, CD

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign established in 1973 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to draw attention to making informed food choices, developing healthful eating and physical activity habits. While the month of March often alludes to green – that does not mean that these food choices need to cost you a lot of green! Following this year’s theme, “Beyond the Table” here are a few tips as to how adding nutrition can help you cut some costs too!

Add more plants! Incorporating meatless meals or utilizing vegetables within the meat entrees.

By adding more vegetables (and fruits) into meals, they will have a larger portion of your plate. That can have a lot of benefits – including adding more fiber! For example – if you were to purchase a pound of ground beef to make meatballs and mixed in three-quarter cup of lentils, you now will get almost TWICE the number of meatballs AND you’re adding 12 grams of fiber towards the 14 grams per 1,000 calories target!

Shop the sales! All veggies are good veggies!

Take advantage of sales on fruits and vegetables – that includes frozen and canned! Sometimes the prepared alternatives get a bad rap – but they shouldn’t! Here are a few examples when they have the advantage:

  • Frozen, riced cauliflower is a great soup thickener
  • Canned lentils are great for meatballs
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables make great smoothie kits
  • Canned fruit – in juice, are great on top of yogurt or cottage cheese

Buy prepared – and, make easy plus ups!

Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market have great signature items! Use them – and plus them up to create a complete meal that feels gourmet at budget friendly prices. Here are a few ideas:

  • Buffalo Chicken Salad – Signature Nashville Hot Chicken combined with chopped romaine, diced (or petite) potatoes, chopped carrots (and/ or celery), bleu (or cheddar) cheese in a bowl or as a wrap.
  • Shrimp Scampi – Grab-n-Go shrimp makes an easy weeknight pasta. Sautee some garlic in olive oil and add a vegetable or two (such as asparagus – on sale this week!) and continue cooking. Toss with the shrimp and your favorite cooked pasta for a quick and nutritious meal.
  • Roasted Potato Sheet Pan Nachos – an easy to customize weeknight meal! Thinly slice the potatoes, toss with olive oil and bake on 400 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes. Top with canned beans, shredded rotisserie chicken, store made salsa and guacamole, diced tomatoes, diced (or roasted) onion, and/ or shredded cheese – or signature cheese dip from Murray’s.

Have OptUp® help you choose!

As you’re making a grocery shopping list online – use OptUp® Nutrition Ratings. The easy-to-use and understand rating system, led by expert Registered Dietitians utilizes evidence-based nutrition information to provide nutrition scores between 1 and 100 – the more nutrition in the item, the higher the score. When viewing an item on the website, scroll down to see the “Better for You” options available. Learn about the OptUp tool here.

Habit stacking is a great way to something new into your routine, combine these tips this with your menu planning. If you’re looking for additional ideas and inspiration, visit our meals in a snap landing pages.