How to Put Together a Healthy Grocery List
By Lana Bandoim
A grocery list can be one of the easiest, most valuable tools to stay on a healthy diet. It makes shopping faster, eliminates guessing and helps budgeting. Try the following tips to put together a healthy grocery list before grabbing the reusable bags and rushing to the store.
Find a Method That Works
Do you prefer paper grocery lists or phone apps that create lists? It is important to pick a method that works and is easy to use. Some people like making their lists on notepads or large sticky notes. Others enjoy creating a quick list in a mobile app. Try different methods and find one that your family is willing to use consistently.
Put the Staples on Top
Everyone has staple items that should go on top of the list. For example, some families need bread, pasta, milk, peanut butter or other products on a consistent basis. Add the healthy staples that are part of most meals to the top of the list.
Add Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables
Depending on the season, the grocery list’s fruit and vegetables can vary. Try to remember the fruit and vegetables that are currently available and add them to the list. Some things, such as apples, bananas and lemons, are usually available throughout the year.
Think of the Meal Plans
It is easier to put together a grocery list when the meals are already planned. Consider what the family will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the coming weeks. Think about all the ingredients, check the fridge, examine the pantry and add the missing items to the list.
One of the reasons why grocery lists fail in the store is because snacks are a problem. The bags of chips, candy and other snacks are tempting on the shelf. It is easy to grab them and consider the snacks ready for the coming weeks. However, a healthier alternative is to plan the snacks and avoid the packaged food aisles. Can you purchase pre-cut fruit, vegetables and dip? Will the family eat healthy seeds, nuts and dried fruit in trail mixes? Are whole-grain crackers and chips an option?
A grocery list can make shopping faster, simpler and healthier. Try to put together your list before going to the store and make sure it is complete. Let family members contribute to the list so they feel involved and can pick out healthy options they enjoy.
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