“Eating healthy is so expensive.”
I’ve heard it, I’ve said it, and in some cases, it’s true.
As a mom of 4 children (and a hungry husband!) I have had my struggles with eating healthy but staying on budget. Something that I have found helps with eating healthy, is eating seasonal produce. Fall is the perfect time to start! I love finding new and creative ways to eat seasonally, and in ways my family will love.
Apples: What kid doesn’t love apples?! (Ok, my 3 year old doesn’t like apples, but the other kids do.) Keep it healthy and add some peanut butter without added sweeteners (hello, healthy protein and fats) rather than a caramel sauce with added sugars. You can also make your own applesauce for the family (and baby) by cooking apples slowly in the crockpot with a little water. I like to leave the skins on for extra nutrients. Then, I just blend it all up. No added sugars needed! You can enjoy the applesauce for up to a week if refrigerated, or you can freeze it for later.
Broccoli: All my boys like broccoli. We just chop it up and eat it raw. But you can also lightly steam broccoli or add to a casserole. My mom even has a yummy cornbread recipe that has cheese and broccoli added to it!
Cauliflower: Again, two of three boys will eat it raw (with Ranch dressing, of course.) But you can also boil some cauliflower and add it to your mashed potatoes if you need to hide it from your kids! They won’t be able to tell a difference. You can also make a “cauliflower rice” and completely substitute a healthy veggie in for your rice dishes.
Sweet Potatoes: These are packed with nutrients and so versatile! We’ve sautéed them and served them with eggs for breakfast. You can bake sweet potatoes and eat one for lunch with a little bit of butter. They’re easy to make savory by adding salt and pepper. Make them sweet by sprinkling cinnamon and maybe a drizzle of local honey. You can even serve up a baked sweet potato with a side salad or cup of soup!
Mushrooms: Sadly, my husband is not a fan of mushrooms, but I LOVE mushrooms. Obviously you can add them to so many things: salads, soups, casseroles, omelets, and more!
Winter Squash: These are great because winter squash can be made savory or sweet. You can bake winter squash and make into a soup or roast in the oven and serve as a side dish. Some people will even serve these as a dessert! Simply roast and add some cinnamon and nutmeg. Then drizzle with honey!
Pears: I am a fan of pears. They have enough sweetness on their own, or you can get fancy and grill or roast them for dessert. You can also easily make your own purees for baby by lightly steaming the fruit and blending with a little bit of water or breastmilk.
These are just a few popular fall fruits and veggies you can easily find at your grocery store or local farmer’s market. Now, check out your grocery store’s ads and stock up on what’s on sale! Local farms may even offer a “you pick” discount!
So, get creative! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, it just takes a little planning!
Please share with us your favorite way to eat these seasonal fruits and veggies!