Take Action on Nutrition Security

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week released Actions on Nutrition Security, a report highlighting the agency’s commitment to ensuring both nutrition security and food security to support optimal health and well-being for all Americans.

You’re probably familiar with the term food security, but what exactly is nutrition security? USDA puts it in simple terms:

  • Food security is having enough calories.
  • Nutrition security is having the right calories.

This new initiative is especially timely, given the rising costs of food, gas, and other consumer products. As inflation continues, healthy eating on a budget is becoming more and more of a challenge for the typical American family.

You need to teach your clients, employees, and students that healthy eating on a budget is possible. We have tools to help you do this, starting with our Healthy Shopping on a Budget PowerPoint.

The Healthy Shopping on a Budget presentation provides practical information about low-cost choices in each food group. It also includes a collection of recipes that are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and tasty.

To be most effective, you’ll need to modify the Healthy Shopping on a Budget PowerPoint show to take into account your audience and where they live and work.

This will take a little research on your part. Here are some questions to get you started:

Farmers markets:

Supermarkets:

  • Is there a full-service supermarket in the area?
    • If not, do your clients have transportation to a grocery store?
    • If not, are there nearby corner stores or convenience stores that sell healthy items, like fresh produce, at affordable prices?
  • Which stores have the best prices on quality fresh produce?
  • Is there an Aldi nearby?
    • If so, find out when regulars say is the best day to shop there for fresh produce (hint: it’s usually Wednesdays).
    • If so, what items should your clients look for at Aldi? (Here’s one list by a registered dietitian).

Food Assistance:

  • Where can your clients go when they can’t afford to buy food?
  • Are there food pantries that offer fresh produce? Salt-free or no-sugar-added canned foods? Whole grains?
  • Do schools or churches offer free food distribution?
  • Is there a community garden nearby that allows neighbors to share the harvest?
  • Do your clients qualify for programs like Meals on Wheels?

Answering these questions are key to being able to educate people about healthy eating on a budget.

You’ll find an infographic that summarizes USDA’s new nutrition security initiative here.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

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updated on 05-25-2022