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Special needs students learn to shop healthy on a budget

Students in the D93 FLITTE (Fostering Learning Independence Through Transitional Experiences) program got an education on how to eat healthy on a budget. They each had a meal planned out and got ten dollars to spend on ingredients.

“I’m just looking forward and learning how to do cheeseburgers and fries,” Tucker Gerard, a FLITTE student, said.

They weren’t just shopping for food. First, they had to learn how to pick out the healthy foods that would be most cost effective.

“Today what we’re gonna be focusing on is being able to identify whole grains because labels can be tricky,” Jonna Boote, a nutrition education specialist for the Idaho Food Bank, said. “Sometimes if it says it’s a whole grain and it’s not. So we are teaching them how to identify healthier grain foods. We’re also gonna be talking about vegetables and fruit, how to identify a cost effective way to prepare those and what it’s best to buy, whether it’s fresh, frozen or canned.”

Boote compared buying a whole pineapple to freshly cut pineapple chunks. Weighing each item and seeing how much it will cost is one way to buy the truly cheaper item. In this case, the whole pineapple was cheaper. She also says using plain yogurt instead of sour cream will make your meal healthier. Learning these tips now can go a long way in life.

“This is very important because we’re trying to encourage, especially at a younger age, kid’s to learn how to eat healthy so that they can do it for a lifetime,” Boote said.

The students not only got an education and some groceries, but time to hang out with their friends as well.

“Just love having a fun time with my friends, especially Sam and Phil,” Gerard said.

The Idaho Food Bank offers “Cooking Matters” classes to teach you lessons in grocery shopping and cooking that will help you live a healthier life.

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