September is National Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month. To help people save money while eating right, Contra Costa Health Services and the national Fruits & Veggies initiative has released a list of the 30 Ways in 30 days To Stretch Your Food Budget.
“The list was made with affordability and nutrition in mind,” said Andrea Menefee, nutrition and physical activity program manager for Contra Costa Health Services. “We all deserve access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Among the cost-saving concepts: getting creative with your leftover fruits and vegetables, making a meatless meal, and shopping in season at farmers’ markets. To see the complete list, visit www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org and click on the 30 Ways in 30 Days image.
Menefee said farmers’ markets are hubs of fresh produce at affordable prices. Although some farmers’ markets will close in late October, many stay open all year. A full list of farmers’ markets in Contra Costa is available by visiting www.cchealth.org and clicking on Health Topics and Farmers’ Markets.
“Careful spending does not mean that you need to eat fewer healthy foods,” Menefee said. “Eating fruits and vegetables is a good investment in long-term health. It can be a very low-cost part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals that help to reduce the risk of many serious health problems such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer, Menefee said. It doesn’t matter how the produce is stored – fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100-percent juice – as long as you get enough.
“Every step toward eating more fruits and vegetables and getting more exercise matters,” said Menefee, “and helps everyone feel their best.”
For healthy recipes and other nutrition information, visit www.cchealth.org.