When it comes to grocery shopping, many of us view it as a rather dreary chore. What with reading labels, checking prices and comparing products, supermarkets can be an overwhelming place for those trying to stick to the plan!
You can learn to love (or least not loath) grocery shopping by remembering to not shop on an empty stomach and to stick primarily to the perimeters of the supermarket.
The perimeter of the store is where you will usually find the fresh whole foods we need to make up a healthy balanced menu plan for the week.
Do take some time to read food labels and compare products so you can choose the most nutrient-rich foods in every aisle of the store.
Fill your cart with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, milk products, lean fresh meat and meat alternatives such as legumes. Try to skip the processed foods that are convenient, but are often filled with fat, sugar or salt and are low in nutrients.
Dietitians can (and do!) help you learn how to put healthy food in your cart with a few well-respected and practical dietitian-developed tools that you can use to help keep on track:
- Dietitian of Canada’s Eatracker – consumers can track food and activity choices, analyze recipes and plan meals at www.eatracker.ca
- Dietitian of Canada’s Nutrition Month videos – consumers can watch Registered Dietitians and Nutrition Month Spokespersons share shopping tips at www.dietitians.ca/nutritionmonth
- EatRight Ontario’s My Menu Planner – consumers can use this tool to develop a personalized menu plan at www.eatrightontario.ca
- Healthy Families BC’s Shopping Sense – consumers can take a virtual grocery store tour and watch shopping videos at www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca
- Dietitians of Canada’s eaTipster – download the eaTipster app for free at www.eatipster.com and get a new grocery shopping tip delivered every day in March
Wishing you continued good luck in putting your Best Food Forward: Plan Shop Cook Enjoy!
Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.