USDA's Summer Meal Program

myplate_whiteThe financial strain of dealing with a bleeding disorder can be felt on many levels.  It is not always easy to pay the medical bills and make ends meet.  Summer time can be even harder for some families who are trying to eat healthy but are having a hard time putting food on the table.
During the school year, the USDA’s school nutrition programs help make sure millions of American children get a healthy breakfast and lunch at school.  In an effort to make sure these children continue to receive the necessary food requirements all year long, the USDA also offers a summer meal program for kids.
Last year, the USDA and its partners served a record 168 million summer meals to kids across the country and are expanding to serve even more. Click here to find a site in your community or call 1-866-3-Hungry (1-877-8-Hambre).
FitFactor recognizes the importance of a proper diet and the role it plays an in keeping a body healthy and strong and helping children to learn and grow.  A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and real, whole foods can provide the proper balance of nutrients and calories and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Being at a healthy weight helps to reduce stress on joints and may help reduce the number of bleeds that an individual can experience.
FitFactor also recognizes the challenge families face when trying to make healthy eating affordable. Here are some tips to create a plan and save money while shopping at the grocery store.
1. Make a list and stick to it. The shopping list is a true representation of your true nutritional staples and upcoming meals. When you purchase from the list, you are less likely to impulse buy.
2. Shop the sales. There are thousands of items on sale in your local store. Look for the sale signs and save.
3. Clip coupons. Grab coupons from your local paper, go online to your favorite store, and if you are a savvy shopper trade coupons with your friends or neighbors. Don’t forget to cut/print them before you head to the store, and visit the store on double coupon day.
4. Get volume discount and shop in bulk. Discounted pricing on many items is available when you buy a full case or more (just ask the customer service desk about volume pricing). Also visit the bulk bins that are filled with items such as beans, rice, cereal and spices. These items will last for months if stored properly at home.
5. Purchase the “bang for your buck” foods. You will get more nutritional value from whole foods: whole- grains, beans, lentils, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies.
6. Make one-pot meals. Cook on the weekend, divide and freeze the meal, then have it for lunch or dinner later in the week.
7. Get excited about leftovers. Move beyond reheating dishes, use your leftovers like veggies, meats and cheeses in soups, pastas and rice dishes.
8. Membership has privileges. Many grocery stores offer frequent member cards. Sign-up and get instant discounts and coupons.
9. Shop on the edge.  Healthy shoppers know the really good stuff is placed on the perimeter of the store. In these sections your will find fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy products and fresh meats. In the middle you will find the processed foods.  Shopping on the edge is much healthier.
10. Let go of the brands. Experiment and try a different brand. Also give the store brand a try. Not only is the store brand cheaper, and many cases it taste better than the higher-priced products.
11. Make one BIG trip. Each time you visit the store is another opportunity to spend money. Reduce the frequency of visits, you automatically avoid temptation, and therefore you save money.
12. Shop on a full stomach.  It is true, when you visit the store hungry you always by more than you need, and you take impulse buying to the max. If you need to, have a small snack before you walk through the aisles.