Grocery Shopping Sense with Global TV’s Melody Yong
As a health blogger, foodie and nutrition lover, I celebrated Nutrition Month in March by attending a food bloggers grocery store tour with Global TV’s dietician, Melody Yong. I am delighted to share with you a few highlights of the tour and some health tips that will make grocery shopping for healthy living easier for you and your family.
In agreeance with Melody, the foundation of healthy eating begins with what you put in your grocery cart. However, grocery shopping is not always a simple task. If you have children and a busy schedule, it’s likely that you’re on a time crunch. And depending on the circumstances, you may find yourself roaming the aisles, purchasing unintended items. Whether you are shopping for one or five, here are some tips to help you keep your grocery cart clean, your plates nutritious and perhaps even save you some money.
What To Purchase:
1. In the produce section, purchase color! It’s recommended to eat an orange vegetable every day for beta carotene and at least one green vegetable for antioxdants. In general the more colorful vegetables and fruit you are eating, the more nutrients you are getting. Try something new and different every week!
2. Choose lean meat vs. saturated meat. Think of the activity level of the animal. Active animals are going to provide healthier sources of protein and fats.
3. Get curious and inquire about where the produce is coming from at your local grocery stores. It was interesting to learn that there is a kiwi farm in Abbotsford that distributes local kiwis to grocery stores in Vancouver. This can be cost effective for you when deciding to purchase organic or not. Organic produce can often be higher in cost than conventionally grown produce. Many local farms and suppliers do in fact grow organically but the cost to label organic is high.
4. Invest in good quality unrefined oils over cheap, refined oils. Use them in moderation (the size of your thumb is equal to roughly 130 calories) in homemade salad dressings to save money, promote heart health and avoid rancid and hydrogenated oils.
Read labels! The foods you want to keep out of your cart are foods that:
- Have ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize. For example, food colorings such as blue lake #2 or tartrazine.. you sure won’t find those being harvested on a farm.
- Expire a year from now (or longer)
- Have an ingredients list longer than the declaration of independence.
- Generally look for low amounts of sugar. 6 grams and under is ideal, keeping in mind that 4g of sugar is equal to 1 cube of sugar.
- Look for less sodium. Under 100 mg per serving is what you want to aim for.
- The higher the fibre content, the better!
Other money saving tips:
1. Always bring a list to avoid over spending or making purchases you haven’t anticipated. This is cost efficient and ensures you stick to your healthful intentions.
2. Pay attention to flyers and clip coupons!
And for the little ones..
- Get kids involved in grocery shopping. What does dragon fruit taste like, anyways? Sometimes kids will choose something you may have not tried before either. If you’re not sure what to do with it, thank goodness for Google. There are some great resources available for online recipes. Futhermore, get the kids involved in creating a recipe with the food they’ve chosen.
- When packing lunches, try cutting up food into small pieces. For example, a whole orange packed in a lunch may come back home several times, whereas an orange that has been cut up is more likely to be eaten.
- Keep offering foods that have been turned down in the past. You never know when they may start liking the foods they once said no to.
- Give plenty of choices. This may be helpful if you’re little one has a case of “macaroni syndrome” (wanting the same food over and over again.)
- Sneaking in veggies: consider steaming and pureeing cauliflower for mashed potatoes, adding in extra veggies to soups and stews. If you’re a meat eater, you can try swapping out half of the meat portion with extra vegetables. Leafy greens are awesome in smoothies and the taste can be easily masked by sweet fruit, such as pineapple or bananas.
- Make your own healthy version of lunchables (this will be a money saver, too.)
- Choose plain yogurt instead of sweetened and add your own fruit and toppings such as cinnamon, raw honey, nuts and seeds.
Want to know more? Check out the online virtual grocery store tour by Melody Yong
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