Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spending More on Healthier Food

My grocery budget is $60 a week for two adults, a three year old and a 16 month old. I try to buy healthy foods with this money, treats that my husband requests and if there is any wiggle room I buy myself some snacks.

I make most of our dinners from scratch and I bake everything from scratch. I do this because it is usually cheaper and it is much healthier than buying boxed dinners and cake mixes. I know that homemade is not always low calorie but at least I know exactly what is going into what I am making and that there are no weird chemicals or preservatives. When you look at the ingredients on a cake mix box or a can of frosting there are tons of ingredients but when I make the same things from scratch there are just the basics and the ingredient list is way shorter. Why put all of the extra gunk in your body when making from scratch only takes a few minutes more?

In my freezer there are always whole grain muffins, pancakes and waffles that I made from scratch and froze so that when I don't have time to make my kids something to eat they will at least have something quick and healthy to fill them up.

I have been slacking though on many things in regards to my kids eating healthy. Lately I have just been buying my son whatever yogurt was on sale without even looking at the ingredients. I couple of years ago there is no way I would have fed him what I feed him now. Also, crackers are a big thing that I have been feeding my kids without paying attention to what was in them. So, no more wheat Ritz or Honey Maid graham crackers (they both have high fructose corn syrup). I will find replacements for them in the natural food section of the grocery store (I may continue to eat them though because I do not like knock off graham crackers- my kids are too young to have formed a bias yet).

The reason I though of this was because my 16 month old daughter is starting to be a bit picky. I really hate this because one day your child eats everything and the next day all they want is fruit, cheese and crackers. If she is going to limit her diet I want to at least know that what I am giving her (and my son who is finally getting out of his picky stage- two years later!) is healthy.

I feel like my grocery budget may go up a bit but it's no big deal. I would rather know that I am doing all that I can to make my kids eat healthy than to spend little for lots of junky food. Growing up we ate Spagettios, Hamburger Helper and tv dinners (we also ate healthier stuff) and I have acquired a taste for high salt, processed foods. I still buy myself junky stuff like this as a treat or as a quick lunch but I do not want my kids to have it or acquire a taste for it. When they are adults and out of the house they can twelve double quarter pounders a day if they but hopefully they won't want to because they will be used to homemade yummy stuff.

Disclaimer: I am not a crazy no sugar and no junk food mom. I think everything in moderation is fine as long as I make healthy food decisions for my kids where I can. We do not eat organic food unless I can get it cheaper than the conventional version. We do try to eat all natural food. We did have whole grain Hamburger Helper last week because I wasn't up to cooking dinner and it was really good (and easy to make).


  1. My daughter may have Celiac and if she does our budget and whole way or life is gonna change.

  2. I'm sorry! I hope your daughter is going to be ok!
    Having food allergies changes everything- both of my kids had milk allergies when I was nursing them so I had to give up dairy for almost one year with each kid. We thought my daughter may have had a wheat allergy too (she didn't) so for a couple of weeks I gave up wheat. I ate a lot of rice! I tried rice pasta and gluten free bread but it was not for me. All of that gluten free stuff is expensive too!
    The whole time I was giving up dairy I felt bad for those who had allergies for life-it is hard not being able to eat what you want and having to read every label but still not knowing if an allergen snuck in somehow.

    I never knew that kids could devolop food allergies when they were a little older- that is kind of scary!
    Good luck with your daughter!