Now that summer is here, kids are likely eating most meals at home.
If you’re concerned about your children eating healthy, or simply getting enough food, this is for you.
Neftali Duran is part of a national campaign through called “” that educates families how to shop and cook healthy meals on a tight budget.
When going to the grocery store, Duran suggests making a grocery list ahead of time on your phone (so you don’t forget it). He also suggests not going to the grocery store on an empty stomach. If possible, he says leave the kids at home so they aren’t asking for extra items.
For the healthiest food options, you’ll want to shop around the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find fruits, veggies, milk, meat and eggs.
Make sure you’re shopping fruits and veggies that are in season because they’ll be the most affordable, but to save even more money, Duran says frozen and canned foods can be a good option.
“Frozen food is an excellent choice to save money as long as you pay attention to the ingredients,” Duran said. “Meaning if you’re buying frozen carrots, make sure that its ingredients should be only carrots, nothing else. So try to avoid, for example, a frozen veggie mix mixed with teriyaki.”
Duran says you also want to make sure you’re taking advantage of benefits you may qualify for.
Free summer meals are available nationwide, run by local schools or community groups to help feed kids 18 and under. Another campaign of Share Our Strength called “” will help you find meal sites near you. You can text “food” or “comida” at 304-304.
To see if you qualify for snap, call 1-800-221-5689 or visit . Duran says many states also participate in what’s called “double your bucks” programs, where snap-eligible families are given some extra money to buy fruits and veggies from local farmers markets.