How to Shop for Healthy Food
You know you shouldn’t be surviving on pizza and chocolate. Take-out is not a sustainable nutritional strategy. Your mom never said eat that entire bag of potato chips or you’re not excused from the table. You know it. I know it. We all know it.
Let’s start eating healthy.
It’s not that hard, we promise. First things first: know what you like to eat. You need to take into consideration your family’s likes and dislikes. If you don’t, no one is going to the eat what you’ve bought, and you’ll end up wasting food and throwing away money. Then, after walking that fine line between its-healthy-but-they-won’t-eat-it and its-terrible-for-you-but-they-could-eat-it-all-day, you need to plan out your meals. This is key. Know what you’re going to make and have between shopping trips. Be as realistic as possible. Saying we’ll eat absolutely no sweets ever might not be that realistic. Then, make a list. That list should have a budget and a very small portion of it can be dedicated to the non-healthy. A very small portion.
Keep fruits and vegetables at something like 50% of the list. That’s right, half. Get a mixture of kinds of produce, from your starchy root vegetables to your salad greens and everything in between. Leafy vegetables spoil faster, so eat those first. Potatoes and turnips will last so save those for later. Put a new food you’ve just read about or something you see in Food Crowd’s fresh online vegetables that you’d never tried before on the list. New foods might mean new nutrients you weren’t getting before, and you just might be on to something.
If some of your vegetables are canned or frozen, check the sodium level. Too salty, not too good. Also keep an eye out for things like “no sugar added.” Too many sweeteners and syrups might put that fruit firmly into the not-so-great for your category.
If you’re someone who likes to snack between meals, make sure your fridge has crunchy vegetables in it that you can cut up before you go and take with you. The prime suspects include red peppers, celery, and carrots. The same goes for fruit like grapes, cut apples, melon, or berries. They’re all good-to-go as they are and are fabulously good for you.
Make those vegetables and fruit the main part of your meal, not the side dish. Roasted potatoes with a dash of parmesan; a cut apple with a dab of almond butter; sautéed mushrooms with a bit of garlic.
If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, now you can start filling the other 50% of your list by picking up some animal proteins, leaning on the less fatty side with chicken and seafood, eggs and yogurt. Be on the alert for “low-fat” in the name and snag those. Try for fresh but pick up a few frozen items for a pinch. If it’s canned, try for “in water” and not oil. When choosing nuts, go for the slightly roasted, the slightly salted, or the raw ones.
You’re also going to need some grains, whole grains. Pasta and rice are ok, but bulgur and quinoa are better.
And you should be all set! Shopping for healthy foods isn’t so hard and at Food Crowd you don’t even need to push a cart around to do it.