Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 50 Nutritional Requirements

As supplies are depleted I worry more about getting all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. When I worked for WIC, we looked for the macronutrients of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Protein, and Iron. If there was one significant source of these vitamins in a two day diet history then we felt the diet was sufficient. Many people express the concern that they can't eat healthy because they can't afford the expensive foods advocated at the time in the media. Media fads vary from salmon to blueberries. These foods are not necessary to keep one healthy. A poor man can eat very well. I buy and store foods that will meet a nutritional requirement. All other "fluff" foods just add variety. Fluff foods include canned corn, green beans, pears, and fruit cocktail. The 2% Vitamin A or C is not enough to justify these as mainstays in our menu. Foods in this category are certainly better than potato chips, crackers, pop and candy with zero nutritional value but their consumption is minimal. Foods in the "potato chips" category are eliminated except for 2-3 times a year at BBQ's or parties. The total for all the fresh produce that I bought in January to last us three months (hopefully) came to $4.50 per person per month. Healthy eating is not expensive. This should provide us with Vitamin C and Vitamin A. The minimum requirement for protein is a little more that 50 gms/day. This is easily met with 6 servings of whole wheat bread (18 gms), three servings of dairy (24 gms) and 2-3 ounces of meat or 1 cup of beans to make up the next 8-20 gms. On the whole American's eat too much protein, making diets too acidic and high in fat causing a multitude of secondary health issues.

Good sources of Vitamin A: carrots, cabbage, broccoli. The Dried carrots are extremely high in Vitamin A. When the fresh produce is gone, we'll have to figure a way to eat carrot muffins without eggs or carrot soup!
Good sources of Vitamin C: tomatoes, green peppers, citrus, fruit drink (100% per cup), cabbage, broccoli, sprouts have about 8% in a cup so they are nutrient dense considering they are only 20 calories/cup
Iron/Protein: Hamburger or ground venison, beans, raisins (good iron not protein), nuts, oysters (60% Iron in a can)
Calcium: milk, yogurt, cheese, pudding, cinnamon (77 mg per TBS - which believe it or not my children probably eat in a day when they make their own cinnamon toast. They blacken the toast with cinnamon. I'll have to measure next time.)

We went to the store again for Root beer for church activity and the Achilles heal: my husband's deodorant. I should have planned better.

Breakfast: Cheesy potatoes from the freezer and rice Krispies with dried milk.
Lunch: Macaroni, hamburger, and tomatoes (the "from scratch" version of hamburger helper) The children snacked on oyster soup and vanilla pudding.
Dinner: Corned beef, seamed cabbage, and creamed potatoes and peas. Dessert - Chocolate Crackle cookies

1 comment:

  1. Wow, good for you! I have 8 children, and have made a goal to only spend a 1/4 of what we usually do at the grocery store, and use the rest from food storage. I am a light-weight in comparison! Congratulations.