Cooking Healthy Food for a Large Family with a Small Budget

Eating healthy food seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. Although we all want to be healthy, it sometimes seems impossible to eat right. Organic food is so expensive. Growing our own food takes a lot of work and time. Making our food from scratch takes a lot of time too. Several years ago we made a decision to start eating healthier food. We are still making changes to our diet in order to eat even healthier foods. Below I will list some of the things we have done in order to eat healthier.

  1. Baking from scratch is the most cost effective method of eating healthier. It most definitely takes extra time, but homemade food tastes so much better and you can feel better about eating it. One way we have found to cut down on the time it takes to bake from scratch is to use a Kitchen Aid mixer. Another thing we have found to be helpful is bake ahead and freeze. We especially do this with breakfast food such as muffins, pancakes and waffles. Baking from scratch is the easiest way to cut out chemicals that serve to enhance flavor and preserve the food.
  2. Read the list of ingredients on the package. This was where I started. My family used to tease me for this, but I learned a lot from it. As a general rule, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, your body doesn’t need it.
  3. Pay special attention to monosodium glutamate (MSG). Many argue that this is a safe additive to food. I heartily disagree. I, as well as most members of my family, am quite sensitive to MSG. If you have headaches, blurred vision, chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pains, or asthma, swelling or numbness, MSG might be the culprit. If you have problems such as chest pains or asthma, by all means see your doctor as well as cutting MSG out of your diet. To learn more about MSG, the book, Battling the “MSG Myth,” is a wonderful guide. It also has several recipes that are MSG free.
  4. Refer to the “Dirty Dozen” list to determine which foods are most important to buy organic. The foods on this list are most important to buy organic due to their contamination from pesticides. If your grocery budget does not have much room for expansion, this list will help prioritize which foods to buy organic.
  5. Be aware of the “5 Deadly Whites.” You can read articles on the “5 Deadly Whites” by clicking on the following links: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Following these basic principles will help to make you and your family healthier. This may be a slow process, but in the end it is worth it. Don’t forget that it’s okay to have a treat every once in a while. We generally follow these rules, but we also enjoy treats.

About Kaylie

Hi, I'm Kaylie. I am 16 years old, and I'm the oldest of six children. My parents homeschool all of us. God has blessed with the privilege to serve my family whether that means making dinner, doing laundry, or playing little ones. Being homeschooled is such a blessing because my education involves so much more than text books. I am learning how to keep a house running, how to relate to and take care of children, and also pursue interests that I would not have time for if I spent 8 hrs. a day in a class room (although I am sure I exceed eight hours of learning time each day.) Some of my hobbies are sewing, gardening, cooking, and reading.
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