By Trisha Shea, M.S., R.D., SNAP-Ed Nutritionist

Unlike New Year’s resolutions, which can feel forced and overwhelming, National Nutrition month is the perfect time for a gentle reminder to do something good for your body. Learning simple ways to incorporate healthier eating into your lifestyle isn’t all that difficult.

Start by making more meals at home, which will not only be more nutritious, but also will save you money. Short on time? Here are a few ways to make cooking at home easier and less time consuming.

Write down a list of meals for the week and hang it on your fridge. Some of our favorites are vegetable egg scramble, pasta with jarred spaghetti sauce and steamed frozen veggies, or a no-cook meal such as a salad or sandwich.

Ease yourself into meal prepping. Cut up vegetables and portion them into sandwich bags or containers for a quick snack. Make a large portion of a grain, such as brown rice, and include it in meals throughout the week.

Start Small When Committing to Eating Healthier. These meals don’t involve a lot of prep work or clean-up. Some favorites are slow cooker turkey chili, macaroni and cheese with broccoli, and tortilla casserole.

Eat meatless once or twice a week. Plant-based protein foods such as beans, lentils, and tofu are great healthy substitutes for meat and will save you money. Some favorites are lentil minestrone soup, green & bean quesadillas, and southwest tofu scramble.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are filled with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, which can help to significantly lower a person’s risk of chronic disease. They are also high in fiber, which helps with weight management.

Start small and set realistic goals. It is easy to lose motivation and abandon healthy lifestyle goals when you bite off more than you can chew. Making small changes to your diet and exercise routine can make a big difference in your health and well-being! What small change will you make this week?

Visit for delicious budget-friendly recipes, including those mentioned in this article, and for tips on how to save time, money, and eat healthy. Small changes make a big difference!

Trisha Shea is a registered dietitian and SNAP-Ed Nutritionist. SNAP-Ed is the educational component of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and offers free nutrition workshops and healthy food demonstrations to the public. To find out if your organization is eligible for SNAP-Ed programming, call 716-822-2288.