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Whether you have kids in school or simply remember being a kid, the end of the school year is a time for enjoying the warmer weather and the multitude of great celebrations that happen this time of year. From graduations to Father’s Day to weddings, June is a busy month. Here are some easy ways to keep budget, health, and treats in mind while having fun!
Stock up! Summer fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, dairy. Get them when they are on sale, eat them fresh now and freeze some for later. You can use freshly frozen fruit for smoothies, as ice cream toppers, stirred into yogurt, or to make muffins. Since June is dairy month, here’s a handy tip for you too – you can freeze milk! Buy the larger container and portion it into recipe ready serving sizes so it’s easy to bake or make your favorite casserole.
Up your game and try something new. Make it a goal to find one new item – either an ingredient or a ready to eat meal – every time you go grocery shopping. Favorites that we eat all the time are just fine, but it’s fun to try new foods and find one that might be something to add to your normal routine.
Make your menu. How often do we say we want to eat differently or plan more, but we just don’t get going with this goal? Now is the time to make this your new habit. Whether you find an app you like, take pictures of things you need to stock up on, or write it down on a scrap of paper, make a list to make your grocery shopping easier, and write down a few ideas of what you think you’d like to cook/eat this week. You can always change your mind – that’s the beauty of having a well-stocked kitchen and a few recipes that use some of the things you usually have in the house.
Move outdoors. Dining outside can make a meal feel more special, even if it’s a simple menu. Salads, sandwiches, and other “one bowl or plate” meals are great for keeping it easy to eat outdoors. Keep it cool if it’s warmer out, too. A crisp, colder meal can be a refreshing way to enjoy the day that makes it fun and easy to get your fruits and veggies in! Don’t forget that firing up the grill helps keep the cooking heat out of the kitchen, too.
Enjoy what you choose. Every food and beverage we choose is an opportunity to support our health goals. If you know a more decadent dish is on the menu, consider portion size and the other meals and snacks you are having that day so it all fits in. It’s not just one food but your whole intake that matters most.
Remember food safety! Keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold isn’t just good for a tasty and satisfying eating experience, it helps keep food safe, too. In hot summer months, keep a cooler in the car and add an ice pack on your way to the grocery store to help safely transport food. Separate raw and ready to eat items, wash your hands before, during and after meal prep and eating, cook to proper temperatures, and refrigerate leftovers promptly so they are safe to eat later.
What’s your “one new thing” to try this summer going to be?