We all know that good nutrition is extremely important for our health. The basis of becoming or remaining healthy all stems from what you choose to fuel your body with. “You are what you eat” is a saying I have heard used to relate to people the importance of maintaining proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet.
A food pyramid has been created to allow us to make sure we are making choices from each category while eating daily to maintain a “balanced” diet. Nutrition labels are readily available on all products showing us what each of our food choices contains. This is all great. Except when you know all of this and your house does not contain the “good balanced” options. You go to cook supper and you have to choose from what you have previously purchased.
The first step to managing to eat nutritiously and well balanced begins in the grocery store. If you can ensure your house is stalked with healthy food options and leave the “junk food” or less nutritionally preferred choices in the store then you have taken a very large step in the right direction of keeping a healthy and well-balanced diet and therefore body and lifestyle.
Grocery shopping for good food choices is sometimes not easy. The stores have aisles full of options that are not the best for us. But they sure look good! I have compiled a few steps to making good nutritional choices while shopping that will hopefully help in making sure healthy food choices are brought home from the store!
Step 1 – Never shop hungry. Make sure before you enter the store that you are not hungry. Shopping for food while you are craving all the unhealthy choices to help your body have some quick satisfaction is never going to work. A hungry grocery shopper will come home with more food than needed and make less nutritiously sound choices. Try your best to shop after a meal, or even shop after you have had a snack. This will help immensely in making good food choices.
Step 2 – Make a list. If you have time plan meals ahead for the week and you can make a detailed shopping list. If you do not have time for meal planning then still make a list of products you are out of and need to be shopping for. If it is not on the list it does not get to go into the cart!
Step 3 – Avoid the junk food aisle. If you don’t walk down it, that food can’t find its way into your cart.
Step 4 – Recheck your cart before check out. How many items accidentally found their way into the cart that maybe aren’t the best food choices. You can always take them back out before you pay. If they make it to your house then you will be eating them!
Step 5 – If your grocery store has a busy time, try to avoid it. Shopping while it’s busy might lead to just putting items into your cart without fully slowing down and thinking. Also, the longer you stand in the check out line the larger the chance you end up adding that chocolate bar or pop to your shopping cart.
No one is going to come home every time with the perfect foods for themselves and their families. But using these shopping steps and bringing home better choices from the store will allow for more nutritiously sound foods to be eaten at home. Good fuel for the body is so important for the maintenance of our health!