11 Healthy Foods You Can Buy at Dollar Tree, According to a Dietitian
The Dollar Tree is a dream store for people looking for inexpensive toys for little ones, economical holiday decor and affordable school supplies. However, it's not very well known that it also has healthy foods at a low price point ($1.25 per item, to be exact!).
Considering how hard inflation has hit food prices, $1.25 is a steal, especially if the items you choose are healthy.
We're looking for foods that are chock-full of important nutrients and aren't loaded with added sugar or salt or like fried potato chips, sodas and highly processed meat products. With a little digging, you can score some dietitian-approved grocery items that are as good for your body as they are good to your wallet.
While you won't find fresh fruits and veggies in every Dollar Tree location (as of September 2021, fewer than 10% of their locations have these offerings), canned and dried varieties can be just as nutritious as fresh in many cases, and can be more easily found on their shelves. In addition, Dollar Tree also carries whole grains, nuts and teas.
If you are pinching your pennies but don't want to compromise your healthy diet, here are some picks you should toss in your Dollar Tree cart the next time you run into this budget-friendly store.
Frigo Cheese Heads Original String Cheese
String cheese is a protein-packed snack that's as delicious as it is convenient to eat. Since the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that most adults consume three dairy servings every day, including this cheese snack in your rotation can help you meet this goal. This three-pack snack contains low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella ready to be pulled apart and enjoyed.
Boom Chicka Pop White Cheddar Popcorn
As a whole-grain gluten-free snack, popcorn is always a fun food to munch on during movie night or when you simply need a popcorn fix. Boom Chicka Pop White Cheddar Popcorn is a ready-to-eat popcorn made with real Cheddar cheese, and it has 0 grams of trans fat per serving and only provides 60 calories per cup.
Harvest Snaps Red Lentil Snack Crisps – Tomato Basil
Pulses, like red lentils, are loaded with natural antioxidants and contain fiber, plant-based proteins and many micronutrients. Harvest Snaps Red Lentil Snack Crisps are a nice addition to a healthy kitchen because they offer satiating protein in a satisfyingly crunchy snack. Since these snacks are baked instead of fried, they don't provide as much fat as traditional crunchy snacks (like chips), and they are gluten-free, too.
Ocean Spray Craisins Dried Cranberries
Adding dried cranberries to salads, breads and trail mixes add a delightful boost of flavor. But the tiny-but-mighty cranberry may offer unique health benefits when consumed consistently.
Cranberries have been studied for decades for their role in urinary tract health, and they may support heart health too. Recent research published in Food & Function shows that eating cranberries daily improves blood vessel function in healthy men.
Imperial Nuts Energy Blend
With a combo of peanuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans, this is one good-for-you mix. Nuts contain a laundry list of nutrients that support your health, including healthy fats, plant-based proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytosterols (plant compounds that have potential antioxidant properties), one review in the journal Nutrients points out.
What's special about the Imperial Nuts Energy Blend, particularly? The addition of sesame sticks in this snack mix adds a little uniqueness, making it so much more than a regular bag of nuts.
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Almond milk can be a healthy addition to any diet, especially for those who are living a dairy-free lifestyle. But many varieties of this dairy alternative are loaded with added sugar. This shelf-stable almond milk has no added sugar and so many uses: it can be added to cereal, coffee, chia pudding and a slew of other dishes.
Honey Nut Cheerios
This classic cereal is made with whole-grain oats, which contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Consumption of whole grains and cereal fiber, like the fiber found in this cereal, as part of a healthy diet, may help lower the risk of coronary heart disease by possibly reducing cholesterol, research shows.
Pour a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, splash on some cold milk and enjoy the light honey-sweetness that this cereal offers.
Goya Pinto Beans
Goya Pinto Beans are an incredibly economical protein source that can be an ingredient in Vegetarian Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes, a Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl and other dishes that benefit from a fiber and protein boost. Since they're an excellent source of folate, eating pinto beans can support the production of healthy red blood cells. Folate can also help prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy, and is an important component of a healthy diet in pregnancy.
Bumble Bee Wild Caught Chunk Light Tuna In Water
Get your seafood in! In 2018, researchers from the American Heart Association stated that consuming one or two seafood meals every week may reduce the risk of congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, stroke and even sudden death due to cardiac-related causes. This link is especially strong when seafood replaces less-healthy fare (such as processed meat) in an overall diet.
Most Americans are not eating the recommended quantities every week. Unfortunately, research shows there are some major barriers to eating seafood among certain populations, including cost, availability and a lack of confidence in selecting and preparing seafood. Stocking up on Bumble Bee Wild Caught Chunk Light Tuna eliminates these major barriers, thanks to the low-cost, convenient packaging. You can also lean on these simple Dinner Recipes to Make with a Can of Tuna to make mealtime a breeze.
Green Giant Sliced Carrots
Canned carrots, such as these Green Giant Sliced Carrots, are an easy addition to soups and stews when some extra veggies are needed. And since cooking carrots can take time, choosing canned versions can be a lifesaver. While canned veggies have gotten a bad rap over the years, it's important to note that carrots contain nutrients such as iron, potassium and calcium.
Breckenridge Farms Stuffed Green Olives
Olives are an ideal addition to many dishes thanks to the healthy fats that this fruit provides. Having a jar of green ripe olives on hand (like these from Breckenridge Farms) makes it easy to whip up some nutritious dishes, such as Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta.
The Dollar Tree offers a lot of healthy food options, all for just $1.25 each. You can find whole grains, canned and dried fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks and more by shopping at this budget-friendly store.