Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Inexpensive Ways to Help Struggling Families Get Adequate Nutrition

You might think that eating healthier means spending extra money at your local organic market. Fortunately, getting better nutrition does not require paying extra for products labeled as organic. Here are a few easy steps that will improve your health without breaking the bank.

Cook from Scratch Whenever Possible

While many processed foods claim to be quicker and easier, cooking from scratch can be just as quick and easy and is much more nutritious. Generally speaking, the more a food is cooked, the less nutrition it has. Some processed foods, like ready-made meals, are cooked multiple times during preservation, assembly, and packaging, removing large amounts of essential nutrients. When you cook your food from scratch it loses fewer nutrients, making it healthier.


Many people don’t realize that Vitamin D is a unique and essential vitamin, and the two main ways to get the right amount are exposure to the sun or nutritional supplements. While most Colorado days are clear and sunny, primarily indoor lifestyles or concerns about skin damage can quickly lead to a Vitamin D deficiency. Nearly half of all Americans have vitamin D deficiencies. Most foods that supplement Vitamin D can be misleading and do not provide enough to stay healthy. Milk, as an example, usually has Vitamin D added, but only enough to help absorb the calcium it contains. Supplements are necessary to get a healthy amount of Vitamin D. When many people think of vitamin supplements they think of pills, however, many pills do not include Vitamin D. Thankfully Vitamin D supplements come in liquid and even a gummy form that is much easier to take.

Avoid Fast Food & Shop Sales

Eating out at a fast food restaurant may be tempting when you’re on a budget. Unfortunately, along with the lower nutritional value, many of these meals are high in carbs. Simple carbohydrates can be filling, but provide little useful nutrition and convert directly into sugar or fat after eating, leading to weight gain. This can be more expensive for your family in the future in the form of paying for doctor visits because such diets can cause medical problems like diabetes. Instead of opting for a dollar meal at McDonald’s, try shopping for healthy things on sale instead. Many grocery stores have weekly ads that show what’s on sale for the week. Shop the sales and buy produce that is in season since it will be cheaper. If fresh produce is too expensive for your budget, you can opt for frozen fruits and vegetables that you can keep in your freezer for when you need them.

Plan Healthy Meals with Online Recipes

The key to cooking nutritious meals from scratch is finding the right recipes and planning when you’re going to eat them. The good news is, finding recipes and meal planning can be easily done for free. Many quick and easy recipes can be found by searching the internet for your ingredients.Free cookbook apps are also easy to find and can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet. Some apps even help you make grocery lists to make planning your meals easier.

Eating healthier is not as difficult or expensive as you might think. All you have to do is be smart when planning your meals and take advantage of free resources that are available to you. Eating healthier as a family and teaching your kids how to eat healthy will help you so much in the long run. Following these guidelines will get you on track for a healthier happier life.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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Thank you so much to @ChristianBros Highlands Ranch, Arapahoe Road, and Ken Caryl for helping our clients last weekend, they took care of so many ailing hearts and sick vehicles. Though the hope they gave, lives were changed. We so appreciate your support of IFCS year-round!

Sarah &Javon, Arapahoe Community College Dean of Students sharing excitement for the Food Bank. We visited last week to learn more about the school's programs for students in need and to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Thank you to Rotary Club of Highlands Ranch for their continuous support of our Hunger Alleviation Programs. We are proud to partner with them. Thank you for being a Gold Sponsor of the October 26th Boo-athon Halloween Bowling event.

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