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Inflation drives up demand for dietitian help

Your grocery bill costs more than ever. An OhioHealth dietitian, and the mother she helped, share their strategies for eating healthy on a budget.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Prices are spiking at the grocery store and dietitians say demand is driving up for help eating healthy on a budget.

A local mom of three said she wasn't willing to sacrifice nutrition for herself and her family. She and her dietitian are sharing the strategies they use, that you can use too.

"Everything is higher,” said Deneen Carter.

Carter said she wants to set a good example for her family by eating healthy, so they will too. But for Carter and many families, cost is a huge factor.

"We buy a lot of Fairlife fat-free milk. And seeing that jump in one day just took my breath away,” She said.

Inflation rose 9.1% in June. Shoppers are paying more for gas, rent and groceries.

"And that's a lot. I think that's a significant amount cost-wise,” said Priya Patel, a registered dietitian at OhioHealth.

Patel is helping Carter and others. She shared three key tips.

"Compare grocery ads, there are weekly ads that are produced every week, for example, Kroger releases their ads on Wednesday,” she said. "Usually these peppers are about $1.39 apiece. Last week they were on sale for 89 cents."

Then, she said bulk up on those sale items.

"Slice and dice them up, put it in a freezer gallon bag, and stick it in the freezer, and you could use it later on a month away. Or two months away for things like fajitas, soups, stews,” said Patel.

Finally, make a meal without meat at least once a week.

"Beans and eggs are going to be one of the cheapest sources of proteins that you can have,” said Patel. “The thing about beans is they're loaded with fiber. They're loaded with protein.”

"When I get home, I prep the veggies in the fruits, because I found that you're more likely to use them if they're cut and quite clean and cut,” said Carter.

For Carter, it was not only about taking a closer look at her budget, but the big picture, too.

"We want to eat healthy to maintain our health because it's always more expensive to get medical care than it is to eat healthy actually,” she said.

Another thing Carter said is helpful for her, is to drink water before and while she shops for groceries. She found it makes her feel less hungry which helps her avoid impulsive purchases.

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