As the new year continues, many people are still working to incorporate healthier eating habits into their daily routines. Of course, one of the major steps in making that happen is having healthy food choices to choose from at home. But when it comes time to shop at the local grocery store, it may be tempting to skip those foods that are better for you and opt instead for tried-and-true favorites that wreak havoc on your eating plan.
To combat this problem before it starts, Marci Clow, MS, RDN at Rainbow Light vitamins, shares her six tips for smarter, healthier grocery shopping. While following these tips may not totally eradicate the temptation to purchase your favorite brownies as you pass through the bakery aisle, they certainly could help you keep these purchases to a minimum.
1. Healthy choices start at home, so plan ahead by making a list. This way you will get exactly what you need and lessen risk of random purchases that you don’t need. Planning ahead will also save you time and money!
Many nutritionists suggest shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, with the thought being that this is where fresher and less processed foods are found. This is true, but there certainly are healthy foods that can be found in the center aisles, too. Think canned beans, grains, frozen fruit and so on.
3. Make a point to try and incorporate foods that are fresh and in season. Also, consider foods that you have not tried before; most people tend to eat the same foods over and over again, but the wider the variety, the wider the array of nutrients.
4. Have household members make suggestions for the shopping list. Kids (and grown-ups) are generally more willing to try new foods when they help to pick them.
5. Don’t shop hungry! This practice often results in unhealthy impulse purchases.
6. Choose “real” foods, with as little processing and as few additives as possible. Try not to choose foods that contain a long list of ingredients, artificial ingredients or ingredients you might not be able to pronounce.
These are just a few ideas to help you keep a good selection of healthy foods on hand. What tips do you have for making sure you get the best foods possible for your family? Let us know in the comments!