You can use these 5 steps to help you make healthier food choices when grocery shopping. I usually pay attention to follow these 5 steps during my grocery shopping.
Plan ahead for your shopping and always have a shopping list prepared for your shopping. This will help you buy only the groceries you need while you shop, saving you time and money while you shop.
Part of being prepared is not to shop on an empty stomach. If you shop when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to buy foods you don’t need.
Fill Your Cart With Healthy Alternatives
Fill your cart or basket with:
- vegetables and fruits
- whole grain foods
- protein foods
- choose protein foods that come from plants more often
Use grocery shopping as a chance to find new healthy foods you haven’t experienced before.
Your basket must be colored. As a helpful tip, make half the vegetables and fruits in your shopping cart. Vegetables and fruits in season are usually:
- more delicious
- less expensive
Choose affordable options when grocery shopping on a budget.
Evaluate Your Shopping Habits
Keep track of where you spend time at the grocery store and the types of food you put in your shopping cart. Some aisles, freezers, and ready-to-eat food sections are filled with processed and prepared foods with added sodium, sugar, or saturated fat.
Limit the amount of highly processed foods in your basket. If you buy these foods and keep them in your home, you are more likely to eat them.
Take the time to look at food labels. These will help you compare products and choose the healthier option.
When shopping for groceries, be mindful of whether marketing influences your food choices. Being aware of marketing can help you make healthier choices. Examples of groceries marketing that may affect your purchases include:
- free samples
- promotional items
- product placement
- colorful packaging
Include others. Encourage your family and friends to choose healthy foods they love while grocery shopping. Make grocery shopping a fun and interactive activity for kids.
Skip grabbing last-minute items from the checkout aisle. These tend to be expensive and are not generally healthy options.
Think About The Environment
Make sure to use reusable shopping bags. Bringing reusable bags with you helps reduce the use of environmentally harmful plastic bags.
Choose products with less packaging. A lot of food packages go to waste. Buying food in the bulk section helps reduce the amount of packaging used.
Try to Make an Impact in Your Market
Get involved in making your local grocery store a healthier food scene.
If you want a specific item and can’t find it, ask. Showing your interest can encourage the manager to stock up on healthy products.
Give feedback to your market. Let the manager know if you think the store is using too much packaging. Share your ideas for replacing checkout aisle snacks with healthier options.
Encourage your grocery store to promote healthy food choices rather than highly processed foods. For example, encourage the store to offer free stickers or fruit instead of offering free cookies to kids.
Encourage your store to consider services and activities that promote healthy eating, such as:
- cooking classes to practice making healthy meals
- tours with a dietitian to learn more about healthy food options