Our supermarket trolley holds immense power - what we put in our basket winds up in our kitchen, and into our meals. However, navigating the supermarket can feel overwhelming at times. With endless food items available, it’s difficult to know what to put in our trollies and what to leave. But, with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve you’ll be grocery shopping like a pro.
Top tips for healthy grocery shopping
Put a plan in place before hitting the shops
Without a grocery list it’s easy to overestimate what we need for our week's meals (leading to overspending or food waste), or underestimate (leading to future shops and poor food choices from lack of supplies!).
→ Action this! Before you head to the shops, make a plan for the week ahead - jot down meal ideas, do a kitchen inventory of your stock, and then put together a grocery list, jotting down only what you need for your meals. Take your list shopping and cross off each item as you go!
2. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket
Many fresh nutritious items within a supermarket line its perimeter; for example, fresh fruit and veggies; nut and seed bulk bins; meats and seafood; and chilled products, like yoghurt and cheeses; whereas more processed items with longer shelf lives tend to sit in the middle.
→ Action this! Aim to do the bulk on your shop on the perimeter, and then dart into the middle for healthy packaged items like tinned tomatoes, seeds, oils and nuts.
3. Shop seasonal
Seasonal produce is fruit and vegetables that has been grown locally and are available for harvest within the current season. It’s typically always cheaper than out-of-season produce, and is fresh, nutritious, and easily accessible.
→ Action this! To check out what’s in season look for fruit and vegetables marked ‘grown in New Zealand’ at your local supermarket.
4. Don’t forget frozen and tinned
As well as fresh produce, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables are an economical and nutritious all-year around kitchen staple, and fabulous substitute for out-of-season produce.
→Action this! Keep a stash of frozen produce in your freezer to add into meals to bump up the nutritional quality e.g. colorful mix in stir-fries, frozen berries and spinach in smoothies...
5. Read ingredients list
The easiest way to determine what’s in our food and avoid misleading product claims is reading the ingredients list of a packaged food. Ingredients are listed in regards to quantity, from the largest to the smallest amount used. The first few ingredients listed are key to take note of, as they’re the ingredients that the manufacturer has used the most.
→ Action this! Long ingredients list tend to suggest a product is quite processed - aim for items with a list as short as possible!
Healthy supermarket trolley essential
If we have the basics on hand in our kitchen, then we always have a meal to make! Here are some nutritious and delicious goods to add to your next shopping list:
Fruit and vegetables: go for fresh, frozen and tinned varieties. Aim to always have handy in your kitchen brown onions, garlic, frozen berries, bananas and leafy greens (e.g. spinach)..
Pantry staples: oil (e.g. olive, avocado and coconut), salt and pepper, reduced-salt soy sauce, stock (liquid or cube), tinned tomatoes, tomato passata, dried spices and herbs, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, nut butter...
Dairy and non-dairy products: plain greek yoghurt, milk (e.g. almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, dairy milk), cheese...
Grains: oats, brown/basmati rice, quinoa, barley, pasta, rice cakes...
Protein: eggs, tinned legumes (e.g. chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans), fish (fresh/frozen/canned), meats (e.g. mince, chicken drumsticks), nuts, frozen edamame...
I hope these grocery shopping tips make your next food shop that little bit easier and healthier.
This blog was especially created for our friends at southern cross while we help them out on there health journey.
Thanks from the Feel Fresh team!
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