Eating Better on a Budget: 10 tips to enjoy your meals while making small shifts to the amounts and types of food on your plate
Healthy meals start with a variety and balance of foods from each food group. Aim to consume less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars
- Get To Know The Foods You Eat – Keep track of the food and beverages you consume by using tools such as Lifesum or MyFitnessPal. These tools give you tips on how to make healthier food choices.
- Take Your Time – Be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you’ve had enough
- Use a Smaller Plate – Use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.
- If You Eat Out, Choose Healthier Options – Many restaurants have nutrition information posted online or on menus. Choose entrees that are baked or broiled instead of fried. Ask for dressings or sauces on the side.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way – Indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish—fruit! Mix berries with fat-free yogurt or enjoy fruit on its own, such as melon or pineapple.
- Choose To Eat Some Foods More or Less Often – Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Cut back on foods such as pizza, ice cream, cookies, and cake.
- Create Your Own Meal Plan – Plan out your meals in advance. Use Sample Meal Plans on Lifesum/ MyFitnessPal for ideas to plan healthy meals.
- Sip Smarter – Drink water or other calorie-free beverages, such as unsweetened tea or club soda, or other low-calorie beverages when you are thirsty. Sugar-sweetened beverages contain added sugar and are high in calories.
- Compare Foods – Check out Food-A-Pedia to look up and compare the nutrition information for more than 8,000 foods.
- Make Sweets a Once-In-A-While treat – Treat yourself on special occasions. When you eat foods like pie, cake, brownies, cookies, and candy, choose the smallest size or consider sharing it.
For recipes visit etfbrecipes.org.
The tips featured in this blog post were developed by the USDA. For more information, visit myplate.gov.