Healthy eating on a budget

Students are not generally known for the healthy eating habits – for many it’s the first time they need to cater for them self and a several factors like lack of time, a busy ‘social’ life, lack of culinary skills, lack of cooking facilities, combined with a tight budget tends to mean that healthy eating is often forgotten. . Also, like most young people students are often unaware of the importance of good nutrition and the effect that it has on their body -it’s easy to dismiss healthy eating as something that you can worry about later in life when you have more time, more money and different priorities and responsibilities. Although many students may know that choosing the right diet will reduce the risk of problems like heart disease and cancer later in life most are unaware that more immediately what they eat (or don’t eat) can have an effect on things like their immune system, their energy levels, their appearance (condition of their skin, hair, eyes), cognitive functioning (ability to process and retain information, concentration etc)

boiled-eggThe good news is that eating well doesn’t have to take a lot of time, cost a fortune or demand cordon bleu cookery skills – tips below will help …

  1. Use your loaf – Penny for penny bread delivers more nutrients than any other food making it an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. Stuff on toast (scrambled eggs, baked beans, canned fish, hummus) makes a quick and easy lunch which provide a range of important vitamins and minerals. Bread freezes well so if keep it in the freezer and toast from frozen.
  2. Don’t skip meals – replacing meals with snacks is not a good idea – snack foods are expensive and usually high in fat/salt or sugar and low vitamins and minerals.
  3. Make time for breakfast – many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals so a bowl of cereal (if you don’t have milk stir a couple of tbsp into yogurt) – skipping breakfast can affect your ability to concentration and brain power in the morning.
  4. Get your five a day – fresh, frozen canned and dried fruit and veg all count toward your five a day – if you’re buying fresh choose seasonal produce which will be cheaper – avoid convenience products ( things like ready peeled veg) which are more expensive. Canned and frozen fruit and veg are often less expensive than fresh, they don’t go off and need quick and easy to use.
  5. Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement – although supplements are not a substitute for a healthy balanced diet they will help top up any shortfalls in your diet.