Affordable Healthy Eating Tips

The pyramid is out, the plate is in.

The U-S-D-A unveiled a new model for getting a balanced diet last week.

It's a simple plate, and the agency says half of it should be filled with fruits and vegetables.

That might sound expensive to some, but you can actually save money doing this.

It's a message from the very top - Fruits, we're going to some fruits here, some berries.

A call to arms from the first lady, her "let's move" campaign to combat high rates of childhood obesity and promote healthy eating and exercise.

We're all here today because we care deeply about the health and well-being.

But many people think eating healthier equals spending more money.

Not so, says deputy secretary of agriculture Kathleen Merrigan.

I've been on a campaign, a crusade if you will, a myth-busting exercise trying to say you actually can afford to eat fruits and vegetables much more than people think.

A little less for vegetables, a little more for fruit, but if you boil it all down, it's 50 cents a cup; so that means that for a 2,000 a day calorie diet you would spend somewhere between 2.18 and 2.50 cents to meet that half a plate recommendation.

It's not always easy but can actually save money.

We know that in this country on average a family of four is spending about $185 a week on groceries - if you follow a healthy diet plan as we propose, you can bring that cost down to $175.

Buy vegetables while they're in season, frozen and canned are also okay.

And have a plan when you hit the supermarket.

And of course there's always your own backyard.

It's so interesting to see little first graders with their shovels talking about composting.

And running a household where you're healthy, I mean you pack lunches, you try to pack sustainable lunches where there's no waste. Tell me about that, a no waste lunch.

It gets a little dicey at times, at 7:35 you're trying to make all the snacks, all the lunches for the day, but I find the kids are actually watching over our shoulders going, oh you want to make sure don't put that in a wrapper, put it in a container that we can bring home and wash again.

And it means the food you're packing is better too.

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