How To Get All Your Fruits and Vegetables For $2.25 a Day

How To Get All Your Fruits and Vegetables For $2.25 a Day
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How To Get All Your Fruits and Vegetables For $2.25 a Day

You don't need to spend a ton of money to get in your recommended daily vegetable and fruit requirements. Check out our tips for getting your daily requirements!

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Small banana (21 cents—equivalent to ½ cup)

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1 cup of watermelon (17 cents)

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2 cups of Romaine lettuce (40 cents—equivalent to 1 cup) + ½ cup of carrot sticks (13 cents) or grape tomatoes (60 cents)

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½ large baked sweet potato (22 cents—counts as half a cup)

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Also add ½ c. frozen green beans (29 cents) or peas (26 cents)

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½ c. canned peaches (29 cents)

Total cost for fruits and vegetables = $1.68 - $2.18

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Check out the next few slides for some delicious recipes with these fruits and vegetables!

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Bagel Gone Bananas

Talk about a grab-and-go breakfast: this bagel topped with nut butter and banana slices is ready in just 5 minutes and easy to eat on the run.

Click here for the recipe: Bagel Gone Bananas

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Jacques Pépin's friends Faith Middleton and veteran publicist Fern Berman once brought a watermelon salad to one of his boules parties . He loved it and was inspired to create this recipe.

Click here for the recipe: Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Tomato Asian Chicken Salad

A bed of salad greens is topped with chicken grilled and basted with an Asian-inspired sauce. Soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and garlic give this grilled chicken its character. Additional sauce is served as a salad dressing.

Click here for the recipe: Tomato Asian Chicken Salad

Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Caramelized potatoes, red onion and chicken make the perfect combination for a dinner meal.

Click here for the recipe: Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Moroccan-Rubbed Grilled Steak & Sweet Potatoes

A Moroccan-inspired spice rub coats the steaks and is tossed with the sweet potatoes as well. The foil-packet cooking method for the sweet potatoes yields excellent results (and fewer dishes). Make it a Meal: Sautéed greens and a glass of Zinfandel round out the meal.

Click here for the recipe: Moroccan-Rubbed Grilled Steak & Sweet Potatoes

Green Beans with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Inspired by a Lebanese pasta dish, we toss steamed green beans with garlicky yogurt for an easy side dish. Try it with roast lamb.

Click here for the recipe: Green Beans with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Trio of Peas

Tart lemon and tarragon liven up this three-pea saute, terrific served with grilled chicken or fish.

Click here for the recipe: Trio of Peas

Roasted Peach Sundaes

This easy dessert satisfies a sweet tooth while adding another serving of fruit, contributing vitamins and antioxidants.

Click here for the recipe: Roasted Peach Sundaes


How often have you heard or read, "Healthy food is expensive"? I hear this assumption a lot, as it's frequently pegged as one of the causes of America's obesity crisis. Fruits and vegetables, in particular, are mentioned as overly pricey and inaccessible for many people. Which, when we're talking about health, is a problem.

As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor at EatingWell Magazine, I think it's important that everyone reap the enormous health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Produce delivers important nutrients, such as vitamins and fiber, as well as phytochemicals that may protect us against a host of chronic diseases. Still, I realize that despite how healthy fruits and vegetables are, it can be hard for people to eat more of them.

When the USDA revised their recommendations for a healthy diet this past year, they also did a parallel study analyzing the cost of following their recommendations. Specifically, the USDA calculated the average cost per serving for fruits and vegetables (to come up with the average, they looked at fresh, frozen and canned) and found that, on average, they cost 50 cents per one-cup serving. For an adult eating 2,000 calories per day, the USDA recommends eating 4½ cups per day (2½ cups vegetables and 2 cups of fruit), which would cost roughly $2.25/day.

Depending on the fruits and vegetables you choose, that number can be much some cases (in the slideshow above) it's lower. Still, the take-home is the same: getting in those fruits and vegetables doesn't necessarily have to be out of reach. Looking at cost alone, you could choose to either eat a bag of chips and soda or 4 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables.

And although 4 ½ cups might sound like a lot, spread over the course of a day, it seems pretty doable. Check out the slideshow above for an example of how you can add in 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables across 3 meals and a snack, to whatever else you eat throughout the day!

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