Many of our food choices begin in the grocery store. While the grocery store can provide us with foods that enhance our health and increase our energy, it is also a place of endless temptation and potential bad choices. Follow these tips to get the most out of your shopping experience:
Time Required: 30 minutes
- Make it Pleasant
Try to schedule your trips to the grocery store at times when it is not crowded. Early in the morning is usually a good time, even on weekends. The produce is fresh, carts are available and the staff is just starting their day, so they are usually relaxed and helpful. Try not to think of your trip to the grocery store as a chore, but a part of your day to calmly select foods to feed yourself and your family.
- Make a List
Go to the store with a list that you made at home. Try to organize your list into categories according to the store layout (for example: produce, meats, dairy, spices, specialty items, etc.)
- Shop the Perimeter
If we are eating for health, there really is no reason to visit many of the aisles in the store. Most healthy food, such as produce, fish and dairy, is located around the edges of the store. Going down the aisles containing cookies or chips may lead to unwanted items finding their way into our carts through habit or impulse.
- Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach
We have all had the experience of shopping when we are hungry and coming home with items that we bought on impulse, which are usually are not the best choices for our health. Eat before you go and you will be able to resist temptation.
- Try New Things
Add a sense of adventure to grocery shopping by trying a new food each time. Pick an interesting-looking fruit or a small piece of exotic-sounding cheese to try. You may find a new favorite to add to your healthy repertoire.