, ,

Healthy Grocery List – Shopping Smarts

grocery shopping

Grocery shopping can be such a chore after a busy day running errands and doing work. It’s no wonder that we’re tempted to buy convenience foods and quick-prep food items when we’re at the grocery store – our minds are trying to maximize our time so we spend less time in the kitchen and more time on other things.

Healthy grocery shopping requires us to plan ahead and avoid the common trap of buying processed foods and treats that we can go without (both for our health and our wallets!). Don’t get stuck making bad choices when shopping for food. Follow these simple and easy tips to make every trip to the grocery store a health-provoking one.

Tip #1 – Have some food before you go shopping

Hunger can cloud our judgment and make us buy more foods that are higher in salt, sugar, and fat. Our brains are wired such that we need the nutrients from food to keep us thinking clearly. Make sure you eat a meal or snack and drink fluids so you’re in a neutral state of mind when you go shopping. Some healthy snacks include: peanut butter on Triscuits, small slice of cheese with fresh pear, handful of nuts or a small apple.

Tip #2 – Write a “eating healthy grocery list” and stick to it

Try keeping a magnetic notepad on your fridge door. Once you run out of something such as toilet paper, milk, or frozen blueberries, add it to the list and don’t add any extras. By sticking to your list of essentials, you won’t be tempted to buy extra foods like ice-cream, cookies, etc. unless it’s a special occasion. This tip will also help you save some money in the long run.

READ  Is Frozen the New Fresh?

After a while, you’ll be able to write out a healthy grocery list template based so healthy grocery shopping is made easy no matter who goes to pick up the groceries.

Tip #3 – Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles if possible

Every major grocery store is set up in a similar fashion. Fresh, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruit, breads, milk and dairy products, and meat and alternatives are stocked along the periphery of the store. The aisles in the center of the store are where you’ll find processed items. Some processed items aren’t bad at all, such as no or low sodium canned goods, plain frozen vegetables and fruit, high fiber low sugar breakfast cereals, and spices. However, a lot of processed foods such as chips, salsa, pop, candy are much less healthy for you. By first filling your grocery cart with fresh foods from the perimeter, you’ll think twice about whether you really need to venture the aisles and battle temptation.

Finally, many grocery stores such as Save-On-Foods and Choices Markets, both from British Columbia, offer free nutrition tours where a registered dietitian takes individuals and groups along a store to offer healthy eating and shopping tips. The tours can be catered to the needs of the group as well. So whether you’re looking for help in developing a “healthy grocery list for college students” that are about to move out or a “healthy grocery list for men” in your home that were never taught formally how to buy groceries (and quite honestly, could use a tip or two), you’re in good hands! I have had the privilege of being an attendee it’s always a fantastic experience. I can see how beneficial it would be for small families needing tips for writing a “healthy grocery list on a budget” or groups of elementary or high school students as they learn about healthy eating. Take advantage of the opportunity if your neighborhood store offers this service!