Get ahead of the grocery game and plan your menu before setting foot in
If you are a mom or a dad who knows how important it is to introduce your
families to healthier home-cooked meals, trying to sort out the good choices
from the bad choices as you walk through the supermarket can seem like
being lost in a maze--flashy packages make confusing health claims, and
kid-tempting treats line the aisles. What's a health-conscious shopper
to do? We sat down with Ruby Schuler, RD, registered dietitian at
Queen of the Valley Wellness Center, to discuss the benefits of strategic grocery shopping. Here’s part
one of our three-part series.
Q. What can families do before setting foot in the supermarket to help
them put healthy foods in their cart?
There are three big things I recommend to make your trip to the supermarket
a successful, healthier excursion.
1. Plan your meals.
The number one thing I recommend to people is to shop prepared. This means
planning your meals for the week so you know what ingredients and foods
Involve your children in meal selection (and preparation) too, as they will be more likely to try new things. This will help you
avoid being a short order cook!
Keep your meals interesting by choosing a variety of food groups, or take
a favorite food and find ways to make it healthier. If you get bored with
your meal selections, you are less likely to stick to the plan. Make healthy
eating a priority and it will become second nature to you.
2. Make a list
Once you’ve planned out your meals, make a shopping list and stick
to it. Lists are a great way to avoid the effects of grocery store psychology.
It also helps save time and money. Grocery stores typically stock the
most purchased items like meats, eggs and dairy in the back of the store.
It’s a tricky, but very effective, method of getting customers to
walk past enticing displays and packaging.
3. Eat before you shop
Always, always eat before you shop. When people shop hungry, they tend
to be less discerning about their purchases. Eating a light meal or
healthy snack before grocery shopping can save you money, and ensures you stick to your list.
Bring your healthy shopping list and read part 2 of our series next week
to learn how to smartly navigate the temptation-filled supermarket aisles.
Does pre-planning your trip to the supermarket help you make healthier
moves around the aisles? Share your tips in the comments below.