Healthy tips from a Registered Dietitian
When grocery shopping, a pre-made grocery list will help you manage time, money and health. When you plan ahead, you are less likely to be tempted into buying unnecessary items and more likely to come home with a combination of foods that will create a great balance of meals and snacks across the week.
It helps to know what staples to keep in the house that will last over several weeks. These items should not need to be bought frequently, but will help you create healthy meals.
Keep these basic kitchen staples on hand and replace when needed:
Balsamic and white wine vinegars
Several types of whole grain pasta
Whole grain or Dijon mustard
Soy and hot sauces
Raw oats (oatmeal)
Spices and herbs of your choice
Whole grain flour
Baking soda and powder (especially if you bake a lot)
Mayonnaise (such as a lowfat, olive oil based version)
Nut butter (i.e. peanut or almond butter)
Raw nuts (i.e. almonds and walnuts)
Dried fruit (i.e. raisins, dried apricots and dates)
Then, each week, you should aim to go grocery shopping at least once per week, in order to have a good supply of fresh produce and protein-rich items. Ideally, go at least twice a week to replenish fruits and vegetables.
Consider the following to create a master grocery list from which to shop each week. When no specific type of item is listed (such as with fruits), select items based on price and freshness.
At least 4 different varieties of fresh fruit
Baby spinach or other salad lettuce
At least 5 different varieties of fresh vegetables (i.e. broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions)
Hummus or fresh salsa
Tofu and/or beans
Carton of eggs
At least 1 type of fish
1-2 packages of lowfat cheese
Organic or natural poultry/meat
Milk or soymilk
2 bags frozen veggies
Bag of frozen berries (if fresh is not available)
1 whole grain pizza (i.e. Amy’s Naturals or Kashi)
Box whole grain waffles
Box whole grain cereal
Box whole grain granola/protein bars
Loaf of whole grain bread/wraps/tortillas
Box whole grain crackers
Add needed items to these lists based on meal planning and lifestyle. Your grocery list will certainly reflect the number of people you are buying for, in addition to the season. With fall around the corner, certain fall-fresh items will be featured in local stores and provide great new ideas for family mealtimes. Always shop the sales ads and plan meals ahead of time in order to save time and money!