Six Steps to Healthier Shopping at the Grocery Store
With more products on shelves than ever before, finding your way around the grocery store is no easy task. Between clever packaging, confusing marketing and endless options to choose from, it can be downright overwhelming trying to make nutritious food choices for your family. Here are six steps for finding healthier food items including whole grains, wheat germ, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and more.
- Don’t go hungry: You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Never grocery shop on an empty stomach. Inevitably you end up filling your cart with everything in sight, good and bad, because you’re too hungry to make smart choices. Either shop after a meal or pack a healthy snack like these Honey Crunch Energy Bars to nibble on while you shop.
- Come with a plan: Take some time to plan healthy meals and write out a grocery list before you hit the aisles. Not only will you save money by avoiding unnecessary or unhealthy purchases, but you will save time and stress later in the week by having a set plan for dinners.
- Shop the rainbow first: Loading your cart with vegetables and fruit takes up time and room, leaving less time to wander into the chips and cookies aisle.
- Think whole grain: Add texture, flavor and nutrition to recipes by swapping out white flours, pastas and rice with whole grain varieties. Try brown rice instead of white with stir-fry at dinner. When baking, replace a portion of flour with toasted wheat germ for added nutrients and a boost in protein. These Banana Wheat Germ Muffins provide a tasty and quick breakfast or on-the-go snacking.
- Stock the pantry: An easy way to stick to your healthy eating resolutions is to keep a well-stocked pantry. Canned beans and tuna packed in water are affordable sources of lean protein and can be used in countless different recipes. Natural peanut butter, lentils and whole wheat pasta also provide a good source of protein and fiber without breaking the bank.
- Navigate the aisles carefully: Often the healthiest ingredients in the grocery store sit right next to some of the unhealthiest. For example, you may have to search for wheat germ in the baking aisle past the boxed brownie and cake mixes, or in the cereal aisle lurking close to sugared-up cereals.
What are your tips for navigating the grocery store for healthy food items?