Good nutrition begins and ends with smart choices in the grocery store. Having healthy meals is a challenge if one doesn’t have the right ingredients in his kitchen.
Grocery shopping is a daunting task as there are so many choices.
But with a little guidance, healthy choices are easy to latch upon in any supermarket.
- The process begins even before you go to the grocery store, experts say. Before you go to the market, plan your meals ahead, and create a list to shop from. It takes only a few minutes and saves time in running back for missing ingredients. Use coupons to save money and check the weekly grocery ads to incorporate sale foods into your meal planning. An empty belly results in impulse purchases that aren’t the healthiest.
2. Convenience is often worth the extra cost, especially if you rely on single-serve packages of pre-cut apples and carrot sticks for food for your toddlers. Anything that makes you and your family eat more vegetables and fruits is worth the extra expense.
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3. Slices of bread, cereals, and pasta should be the least processed foods that are made from whole grains. Regular oatmeal, for example, is preferable to instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is a whole grain.
4. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where foods like fruits, dairy, meat, vegetables, and fish are usually located. Avoid the places where junk foods lurk.
5. Choose “real” foods, such as 100% whole-grain items or 100% fruit juice with as little processing and as few additives as possible.
6. Stay clear of foods with cartoons on the label that are targeted at children. If you want your kids to stay away from eating junk foods, don’t have them in the house.
7. Avoid foods that have more than five ingredients or artificial ingredients you can’t pronounce.