Minnie Mama's Blog

Nutrition Month: Tips for Healthy Shopping at the Grocery Store

Posted on: March 11, 2013

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Honestly, I didn’t know that. I just always think of March as Oh shoot bikini season is almost here month, ha ha. But since it’s actually an official month to focus on healthy eating (every month should be though!) I’ve teamed up with Stop & Shop’s full-time nutritionist, Julie Menounos, to help you get the most out of your grocery shopping experience w/ healthy eating in mind. Regardless of food preferences, lifestyle, culture, health concerns, when it comes to meal planning for many families, the supermarket is the place to start, it’s where healthy eating begins. And if you go armed w/ your list, coupons, and a meal plan for the week then you’re so much more likely to leave those deliciously fattening cookies and chips on the shelves.

Here’s a few grocery shopping tips that Julie wanted me to share with all of you:

Before You Leave:
Don’t shop hungry. Be sure to have a light meal or snack with fiber and protein before shopping to avoid impulse buys.
Make a grocery list. Plan out your week of meals, snacks and beverages and those you need to restock. Organize the list by the departments of the grocery store to save you time shopping.

During Your Shopping Trip:
Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where the freshest, most natural food lies. So fill most of your cart with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and dairy items then venture down the center aisles to stock up on staple goods like whole grains, beans, vegetable-based soups, canned tuna and wild salmon.
Pay attention to symbols to help you shop. For example, at Stop & Shop, you can look for the Healthy Ideas® symbol next to the price to find products that are better for you and your family.
Read the ingredient list. If you are not sure how to accurately interpret the Nutrition Facts label, the ingredients list can provide you with enough information to make a healthy decision. Ingredients are listed in order of weight from high to low. In general, the less ingredients the better. If sugar is listed in the first or second ingredient of your breakfast cereal, look to swap it.

When You Get Home:
Focus on filling half your plate with fruit and non-starchy vegetables. Fill the other half with whole grains (bread, rice, pasta and starchy vegetables like corn, peas, potatoes) and lean protein (chicken, turkey, beef seafood, beans).
Don’t forget a serving of dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese) either incorporated into the meal, on the side or as dessert!
Think about adding fruits and veggies to your families favorite foods. Add strawberries in cereal, blueberries in yogurt, sliced pears in a grill cheese sandwich, shredded carrots and zucchini to pasta sauce and broccoli on pizza.

So now that you’ve read all of those tips, what do you think? Will this help you get those booties in gear and in shape for summer?

Disclosure: All of the opinions expressed were my own w/ the exception of Julie’s fab tips. I did receive Stop & Shop GCs as a ‘thank you’ for my participation.

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