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How to Make a Low-Cost and Healthy Dinner

A healthy dinner doesn’t have to cost a lot or take a lot of time to make. For just a few dollars, you can feed your family a yummy meal packed with protein and fiber. Your kids will get the nutrition they need. Their bellies will feel full. And if you make dinner at home, you'll spend less than if you get take-out. You save time too.

Surprise your family! Turn leftovers into something new. Or serve breakfast for dinner. In just 20 minutes you can put dinner together.

Remake Your Leftovers

Do you have leftovers like meat, chicken, fish, beans, or lentils? That’s your protein. Make it last longer. Change it into a new meal. Just add a few things. Give these dinners a try:

  • Easy pasta toss (with leftover meatloaf or meatballs): Heat up leftovers. Cook your kids’ favorite shape of whole-wheat pasta. Steam frozen vegetables. Toss it all together. Sprinkle on mozzarella or parmesan cheese. Add a shake of oregano.
  • Fruity chicken salad (with leftover chicken): Cut up cold leftover chicken into bite-size chunks. Add a spoonful of mayo, mustard, or plain yogurt. Sprinkle chopped nuts and sliced apples on top. Serve over lettuce or on a piece of toast.
  • Make-your-own burrito bowl (with leftover fish or beans and veggies): Cook brown rice. Heat up leftovers. Put out shredded cheese and salsa. Let each person fill their own burrito bowl.
  • Super stir fry bowl (with leftover tofu or chicken and rice): Heat up leftovers. Steam frozen veggies. Let each person fill their own bowl. Shake a few drops of teriyaki or soy sauce on top.

Serve Breakfast or Lunch for Dinner

It’s fun and easy. Here's how to do it:

  • Breakfast for dinner: Cook 2 eggs any style. Toast 2 pieces of whole-grain bread. Serve with a piece of fruit.
  • Lunch for dinner: Roll up peanut butter and jelly in a whole-wheat tortilla or wrap. Serve with a piece of fruit or carrots and celery sticks.

Reviewed by: Marlene Rafferty, RD
Date Reviewed: Jun 20, 2023

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