Follow these five simple steps to ensure your food shopping is healthy & easy:
- Write a shopping list– it will only take a few minutes but writing a shopping list will save you time at the shops and stress at home. Plan out your meals for the week first (you can use my meal planner template here) & then write a shopping list based on this. Your list should include foods from each of the following food groups to ensure your meals are balanced – vegetables, legumes & beans; fruit; whole grains, lean proteins (e.g. fish, nuts, seeds, tofu) & milk/milk alternatives.
- Don’t go to the shops hungry – have a healthy meal or snack at home before you go food shopping. This will reduce impulse purchases & help you to resist the temptation of buying sugary snacks like chocolate that your body will crave if you are hungry. Take a water bottle with you too to stay hydrated.
- Fill your trolley with fruit and vegetables first – fruits & veggies should form the basis of your diet. Start your food shop in the fruit & vegetable section of the supermarket and fill your trolley with these first. Ensure you choose a variety of different fruits & vegetables & aim for different colours too – think “eat the rainbow”. And don’t be afraid to venture out and try new fruits & veg. Remember, you need to aim for a minimum of 2 fruit & 5 veg per day, so you will need to buy a fair amount of produce to reach this healthy target.
- Use the Health Star Rating system when buying packaged foods – there are many healthy foods that are sold in packets – think oats, wholegrain cereals, nuts, seeds, tinned beans, lentils, fish, tofu & yoghurt. You can use the Health Star Rating system to quickly & easily compare similar packaged products to ensure you choose the healthiest options available. The Health Star Rating can be found on the front of packaged foods products & it ranges from ½ a star to 5 stars, with the more stars on the front of the pack being the healthier the option. Where possible, opt for the higher rated food products and remember only to compare similar products e.g. you can compare two yoghurt varieties, or 2 muesli varieties. It’s important to note that the Health Star Rating system doesn’t apply to fresh, unpackaged food so you won’t see it on fresh fruit and vegetables or plain meat. Additionally, not all packaged foods carry the health star rating at the current time.
- Avoid the “junk food” aisle – there are some aisles in the supermarket you just don’t need to go down. You can completely avoid going down the lollies/chocolate aisle and soft-drink aisles as these foods aren’t needed as part of a healthy diet.
For more information on the Health Star Rating System, click here .
Sponsored Content: This article is proudly sponsored by The Health Star Rating. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.