By P. Mehta, RD/ www.healthfulfilling.com
If you’re trying to improve your eating habits as part of your new year resolutions, your grocery cart can be an effective tool to measure how you eat. Because people are often in a hurry while grocery shopping, what goes in the cart isn’t always what was meant to, or doesn’t adhere to the grocery list, if you got a chance to make one. When you unload your items on the checkout counter, do the items shout “healthy,” “fresh,” or” natural?” Or do they look more like your child did most of the decision making? Or could it be the, “it’s been a long week, and I want to indulge in my favorites, so don’t judge me,” kind of a cart? Any of those situations could happen despite the best intentions.
For future grocery trips, try these tips to get more health value into your grocery cart:
- Make the list according to the weekly menu, and take it with.
- Stick to the list! Make sure you shop after a meal.
- Focus on produce, lean meats, low fat dairy, beans, and whole grains.
- Try to get five different colors of produce.
- Limit getting processed, ready made, convenience foods.
- Avoid snacks foods or packaged foods with trans fat and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
- Get the kids involved with choosing healthy foods at the grocery store.
Remind yourself that what goes into the grocery cart goes to your kitchen and in your meals. The next time you unload your grocery items, get the family together to put the foods in a healthy, and not so healthy category. Then check which category has more foods. If the “not so healthy” category wins, choose healthier options for each of those foods on your next grocery list. Let us know how it’s going!