Updated: Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012, 6:54 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012, 5:33 PM EDT
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - More than half the students enrolled in Vigo County schools alone receive free and reduced price lunches. That means that many of them and their families struggle with meals at home.
This week, nearly 50 community leaders are taking part in the United Way's Hunger Challenge.
Wondering where your next meal can come from is frustrating and stressful, but it's also a major problem when it comes to receiving the proper nutrients.
We spoke with a dietician to find out what kids and adults alike need to know when it comes to meals on a budget.
While refined carbohydrates like spaghetti and white bread are good on a budget, they offer very little when it comes to nutrients.
They also leave you hungrier sooner than eating vegetables, fruits, or proteins.
Dieticians suggest beans, plants, and seeds when it comes to diet on a dime. These items offer filling proteins and fibers.
When a person doesn't meet their nutrition needs, there are both long and short term consequences.
"Protein plays a big role in immune response and fighting infections so if you're deficient in protein, likely your immune system will be weakened, you'll have trouble fighting off those infections,” Regional Hospital dietician Marissa Trout said. "If you chronically do not get those types of food [nutrient rich foods] in your diet, you are putting yourself at risk for developing chronic diseases later in life."
With only four dollars a day, some of those important nutrients have to be skipped.
When money is tight, planning ahead of time and researching ways to get more out of your fruits and vegetables are both good ways to make sure you avoid malnutrition.
The hunger challenge continues through the rest of this week.
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