Nutritious family eating starts with having healthy foods readily available in our homes.
Heading to the supermarket to stock up can be overwhelming and stressful at the best of times. With so many options, knowing what to choose for you and your kids each week can certainly be a challenge.
I like to remind myself that with a little preparation and knowledge, making the right choices can be as easy as one, two, three:
1. Make a list – I try to take the time to prepare a weekly menu and make a list to gather what we’ll need. A list helps keep me on track and avoid the things we don’t need – and it helps me look forward to all of the great meals we’ll be enjoying throughout the week!
2. Do not go shopping hungry – This is probably the biggest, most costly mistake we can make. If I shop hungry, I am almost guaranteed to come home with food I don’t need – and most of this food I end up throwing in my cart will be high in sugar, salt and fat. I try to shop either after dinner or after a filling brunch on the weekends. With a full belly in tow I am more likely to stick to my list!
3. Shop the perimeter of the store – This is where the real food is found, i.e. produce, dairy, meats, fish, etc. I try to make sure that I spend the bulk of my money here and only go to the centre of the store for frozen/canned fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains.
With recent struggles for access to fresh fruits and veggies here in Newfoundland and Labrador, remember that it’s okay to buy frozen fruits and veggies to kick up the nutrition in our meals – frozen fruits and veggies are just as healthy as fresh. (Sometimes even better, because they are frozen as soon as they come out of the ground!)
Need to get organized? Here’s a link to 36 free templates for organizing your menus and your shopping list from fellow blog Cheap, Healthy Food.
Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.