Food, Nutrition, and Fitness

Help for Difficult Financial Times

Healthy Eating

Good Nutrition

The foods you choose to eat everyday affect your overall health. Nutrition experts offer easy-to-read tip sheets to help you eat more:

Use the SuperTracker to plan, analyze, and track your meals.

Food Safety

Each year, about one in six Americans become sick from food poisoning. Although most will recover without any lasting problems, some types of food poisoning can lead to kidney failure, chronic arthritis, brain and nerve damage, and even death.

By following four simple steps, you can help to avoid food poisoning at home:

  1. Clean: wash hands and surfaces often.
  2. Separate: don't cross-contaminate raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs with other ready-to-eat foods.
  3. Cook: use a food thermometer to ensure you've cooked to the right temperature.
  4. Chill: refrigerate food within two hours of cooking and never thaw foods on the counter.

On FoodSafety.gov, you can sign up to receive the latest information about food recalls.

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Eating on a Budget

Healthy Eating on a Tight Budget

Food is expensive, but preparing your own meals can be healthier and less expensive than eating out. Get ideas on how to eat healthy meals on a budget, including:

Families with limited resources may qualify for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). This federally funded program shows participants how to make a food budget and select nutritious items. Read more about EFNEP on the USA.gov Blog.

Food Stamps

Food stamps are officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This federally funded program helps struggling families to put food on the table.

Use a pre-screening tool to find out if you're eligible for SNAP.

Learn more about how to apply for food stamp benefits.

Meal Programs for Children

Federally assisted meal programs, such as the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals to eligible children each school day. Learn more about these and other school meal programs.

The Summer Food Service Program helps to fill the nutrition gap for eligible children when school lets out for the summer. 

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Fitness

Being physically active can help you to live longer, feel happier, sleep well, and maintain a healthy weight.

For the biggest benefit, include both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities in your exercise routine. Aerobic activities, such as walking and running, exercise your heart. Lifting weights and using exercise bands improve your muscle strength.

Get some ideas for increasing your physical activity. You can use the Physical Activity Tracker to monitor your level of activity from week to week.  

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