Feeding Your Family on a Tight Budgetenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_01_2.jpgEveryone needs enough healthy food, but many people can't get it all the time. Here are programs that can help.healthy food, food deserts, WIC, food stamps, fruits and vegetables, can't buy food, need help buying food, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, SNAP, Women, Infants, and Children, WIC, School Breakfast Program, School Lunch Program, free and low-cost meals, free food, Summer Food Service Program, National Hunger Hotline, USDA, public assistance, coronavirus, covid-19, pandemic, outbreak, quarantine, lockdown, need money for food, can't afford food03/10/202006/15/202006/15/2020Kate M. Cronan, MD and Estherline Thoby, DO05/12/202000b1aeb7-6e96-4778-9a86-1677a4a68599https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feeding-families.html/<h3>Why Can it Be Hard to Feed a Family?</h3> <p>Everyone needs enough nutritious food to live a healthy life. But many people can't get it all the time. This can happen for different reasons, like:</p> <ul> <li>not having enough money to buy food</li> <li>being unemployed</li> <li>not having an easy way to get to a store to buy food</li> </ul> <p>The community where a person lives also plays a role. Some people have to travel long distances or have few supermarkets or grocery stores nearby. These areas are sometimes called "food deserts." Convenience stores are common in food deserts. They usually have higher food prices and carry a smaller variety of fruits and vegetables.</p> <p>Anyone can have trouble getting enough <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/habits.html/">healthy food</a>. It can happen to adults and kids of any age.</p> <h3>Why Is a Healthy Diet Important?</h3> <p>Communities with limited affordable and healthy foods tend to have easier access to fast food restaurants. Not having easy access to fruits, vegetables, and important vitamins found in healthy foods can lead to health conditions like low <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/iron.html/">iron</a> levels and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/overweight-obesity.html/">obesity</a>.</p> <p>Low iron levels and a diet with lots of sugar can cause behavior problems, such as trouble paying attention, poor memory, and hyperactivity. Children also can have mood changes, increasing their risk for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anxiety-disorders.html/">anxiety</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/">depression</a> during the teen years.</p> <p>A healthy diet can help prevent health conditions like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-basics.html/">asthma</a> and emotional <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/stress.html/">stress</a>. Kids who eat well also tend to be more <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/active-kids.html/">active</a>. This can help them keep a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-weight.html/">healthy weight</a> and avoid health problems linked to obesity.</p> <h3>Where Can Families Find Food Resources?</h3> <p>Children and families may qualify for free and confidential services that can help them find healthy foods. These include:</p> <h4>Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)</h4> <p>WIC provides money for food such as formula, infant cereal, fruits, and vegetables to low-income pregnant women and new moms, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. Find more information online at:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic">Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h4>Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)</h4> <p>SNAP helps families with their food budget so they can buy healthy food. Families can buy a variety of foods like fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy products. You must apply in the state where you live and meet income rules. Find more information online at:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program">Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)</a></li> </ul> <h4>School Breakfast Program</h4> <p>This federal program in public and nonprofit private schools provides free or low-cost breakfast to children based on household income and family size.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">Find more information online at:</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.fns.usda.gov/sbp/school-breakfast-program">School Breakfast Program</a></li> </ul> <h4>National School Lunch Program</h4> <p>This program provides free and low-cost meals to kids in public and nonprofit private schools based on household income.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">Find more information online at:</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/366">National School Lunch Program</a></li> </ul> <h4>Summer Food Service Program</h4> <p>This program makes sure kids get healthy food when school is out. It provides free meals during the summer to kids and teens 18 years old and younger. Find more information online at:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program">Summer Food Service Program</a></li> </ul> <h4>National Hunger Hotline</h4> <p>The USDA's National Hunger Hotline connects families with emergency food sources in the community, such as food banks, government assistance programs, and other social services. Call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.&ndash;10 p.m. EST. Find more information online at:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.hungerfreeamerica.org/about/our-work/usda-national-hunger-hotline">National Hunger Hotline</a></li> </ul>Alimentar a su familia con un presupuesto ajustado Todos necesitamos cierta cantidad de comida sana, pero muchas personas no pueden acceder a ella. AquĆ­ encontrara programas que lo pueden ayudar.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/feeding-families-esp.html/d6c863e2-ea63-4012-aaa0-7e15cd726c84
After-School SnacksIf your kids come in from school and head straight for the kitchen for something to eat, here's how to make sure they still have room for a healthy dinner.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/afterschool-snacks.html/a3ef407e-1718-454f-a25b-7202873a239f
Breakfast BasicsEven if you eat a healthy morning meal every day, it can be tough to get kids fueled up. Here's how to make breakfast more appealing.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/breakfast.html/226d7f61-48cd-40a8-a384-f718e6a06983
Eating During PregnancyTo eat well during pregnancy, your extra calories should come from nutritious foods that contribute to your baby's growth and development.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eating-pregnancy.html/d1bea4f3-86e5-4b49-80c3-45c58c1d0fd4
Feeding Your Child AthleteAll kids need to eat balanced meals and have a healthy diet. But should that balance change for kids who play on a sports team or work out?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/feed-child-athlete.html/f350edce-5b06-4260-9566-d7d4943c2b3a
Figuring Out Food LabelsFind out how to make healthy food choices for your family by reading food labels.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-labels.html/9401fbd6-52f0-4a25-ab3e-56c1794d3350
Food Safety for Your FamilyWhy is food safety important? And how can you be sure your kitchen and the foods you prepare in it are safe?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-safety.html/0caf1e5d-2bda-4ba7-8855-560f9e30f791
Healthy EatingGood nutrition and a balanced diet help kids grow up healthy. Here's how to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/habits.html/429ff6f2-05a1-4593-a32b-4c6e4837e415
Healthy Food ShoppingWhat you put in the grocery cart can affect your child's health and attitude toward nutritious food.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-shopping.html/8eed11a3-924a-49e3-9359-a17bddffa584
MyPlate Food GuideThe USDA's food guide icon is designed to make meal planning easy. Here's how to get MyPlate onto your table.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/myplate.html/b56c7e83-4f64-4002-91e2-eb5feb490330
Pregnant or Breastfeeding? Nutrients You NeedLearn which nutrients you need while pregnant or breastfeeding, and easy ways to add them to your diet.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/moms-nutrients.html/5186a8b0-6ccd-4a91-b897-4a71a77c503d
Produce PrecautionsKids need daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Here's how to make sure the produce you buy and prepare is safe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/safe-veggies.html/178370f4-5486-499e-a6a5-c13f9ad98fa2
Snacks for PreschoolersHealthy and well-timed snacks can help fill in nutritional gaps for preschoolers. But how do you turn yours into a smart snacker?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preschool-snacks.html/b55b5073-6588-49a5-b672-ccdd689616d8
Snacks for ToddlersSome toddlers may seem too busy exploring to slow down and eat. Others may be fickle about food or refuse to eat at mealtime. That's where healthy, well-timed snacks come in.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toddler-snacks.html/80d7a0b7-8d30-432c-aee6-4098ef0b6d98
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-generalPediatricskh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-gastroenterologyAndNutritionWeightManagementHealthy Eating & Your Familyhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/healthy-eating/820bad5b-c255-4034-b617-dc1d9e09ab97Feeding & Eatinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth/feeding/1300b225-a549-4965-b0de-343866c92c2c