All the Healthy Foods You Can Buy with SNAP Benefits
Make these benefits work harder for you by shopping the grocery store with these tips.
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Stock Up on Healthy Staples
The government-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) supports American’s food budgets and helps families afford groceries. Those who are eligible for SNAP can use these monthly dispersed funds to purchase fresh and healthy staples. Here are 10 healthy foods you can buy with SNAP.
Calcium- and vitamin D-rich milk is a staple in many households for a reason. This bone-building beverage also offers protein, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and potassium, and it can easily be enjoyed in cereal, oatmeal and smoothies. Lactose-free milk and soy milk are also SNAP-eligible.
Meat and Poultry
Protein- and iron-filled meats and poultry items are readily available for SNAP participants. Some of the most affordable and healthy options include 90% lean ground beef, pork tenderloin and boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Perfect for breakfast (with fruit and granola), as a snack or for a protein boost in a smoothie, yogurt of all types are included with SNAP benefits. Eating yogurt regularly is a convenient way to consume tummy-pleasing probiotics, plus get a boost of nutrients like calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.
Shop all aisles of the store to find SNAP-friendly fruits. Fresh, canned and frozen are all included in SNAP benefits. Choose canned fruits with little or no added sugar (like in its own juice or light or extra-light syrup). And it’s a little-known fact that frozen fruits are just as nutritious (and often more affordable) than their fresh counterparts.
Along with milk and yogurt, cheese is also a healthy staple and yet another way to get in the recommended three servings of dairy every day. For lower-calorie options, opt for low-fat and part-skim varieties.
Meat and poultry aren’t the only SNAP-eligible proteins on the list. Everything from canned tuna to fresh salmon at the seafood counter are covered. Because seafood is highly perishable, consider frozen pieces of fish for a longer shelf life.
Bread and Baked Goods
Bread is a sandwich must-have and a staple on SNAP. Even though most prepared and ready-to-eat foods cannot be purchased with SNAP funds, bakery items like cakes and muffins are allowable.
Seeds and Plants
SNAP also supports efforts to help grow your own foods by making seeds and plants an approved SNAP expense. No matter whether you choose a basil plant for the windowsill or a tomato plant for the backyard garden, these SNAP options can help provide a more longstanding supply of fresh foods.
Much like fruit, all types of vegetables can be purchased with SNAP funds. To get the most for your money, buy veggies that are in season and stock up on versatile staples like potatoes, onions and greens.
Pour yourself breakfast using the combo of SNAP-approved milk and cereal. Whole-grain cereals with lower amounts of added sugar offer the most nutrition for your SNAP dollar.