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March 12, 2010


Ann Christensen

I work with low income folks. How about coming up with a list of after school snacks that are affordable to all. Could you even compute the per serving cost so I could show folks that whole and natural foods can be cheaper than the processed unhealthy snacks kids ask for. Also, have you tried roasted garbanzo beans? Roast with cumin,paprika, salt and a little olive oil in the oven at 400 for 20 mins. They are delicious.


Hi Ann!

Thanks so much for your response. When coming up with these snack ideas and other healthy recipes, I am always keeping budget in mind. Of the list above, here are some very economical choices to recommend:

Popcorn, whole grain cereal, whole grains and oats, and nuts and beans are all available in bulk sections of food stores, especially ethnic stores, co-ops, or health stores -- and these are actually quite cheap in bulk (as well as much more fresh than the boxed foods)! In addition to these grains and nuts, hardboiled eggs and certain fruit from the list are almost always budget-friendly. Fresh fruit and veggies can be a great bargain in season. While it can be more expensive to source organic produce, many cities and towns have great inexpensive produce shops to choose from, and farmers’ markets for at least part of the year. (Here in Chicago, I love Stanley's Produce for the oodles of cheap, fresh produce year-round.) It can seem more expensive to buy whole foods over processed foods, but when you stick to bulk items and simple fruits and vegetables, it’s amazing how cost-effective it actually is! Every community has different purchasing options, so I love the idea of computing cost per serving based on where you live and what’s readily available. We’ll keep your suggestions in mind for future posts!

P.S. I LOVE roasted garbanzos -- thanks for adding that to the list! :)

Dexter Ray Knox

This is a list I need to keep on the fridge, although I know what we "should" be eating, in the rush of the day it's easy to mess it up.

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