Walking the Aisles at the Grocery Store: Tips for Healthy Shopping, Part 2

On Monday we “walked” up and down some of the aisles at the grocery store (read more Here), in search of reasonable choices among tens of thousands of products. Today, let’s continue our “grocery store tour…”

Fish-and-Lean-Poultry-MeatAisle 5: Meat and Fish

Choose ground chicken or extra lean turkey, skinless chicken breasts or lean cuts of grass-fed beef, like tenderloin or top sirloin. Fish of course, a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, should be consumed once or twice a week. Salmon and tilapia are good ones for the kids to try first. When buying and consuming meats, be mindful of portion sizes; Americans eat WAY too much meat! Adequate serving would be 4-5 ounces at most.

frozen-fruits-vegetables-250x250Aisle 6: Frozen Foods

This is where I “fill the gap” on fruits and vegetables that are off season. They are reasonably priced, even for organics, and they are frozen at the peak of ripeness so nutritionally they are a home run! Also in the frozen section look for whole grain waffles, 100% fruit juice for marinades, and even a low sodium simple cheese pizza you can jazz up at home with additional veggies for those crazy busy days!

healthy-dairy-products-milk-cheese-yogurtAisle 7: Dairy

Dairy foods provide calcium and vitamin D for bone health. Choose low fat milk to cut some saturated fat. Other good options include yogurt and cheese. If you enjoy full fat cheese (like I do!) no problem, just be very careful with portion size. These days the dairy aisle also carries lots of “non-dairy” options, like Almond, Coconut and several other milks. They all provide different nutrients and I like using them for baking and with my cereal.

A few additional tips:

  • Make a list and stick to it!
  • Read labels! Not just nutrition facts (calories, fat, etc), the actual ingredient list will help you decide if you should buy it.
  • Look for short ingredient lists (and ingredients you can pronounce!)
  • Be careful with the Serving Size (adjust calories and fat accordingly)
  • Avoid the middle aisles! (where junk food usually lives)
  • Use Technology! I have written about this before here Technology Can Help.
    I use Fooducate and Shop Well when I go to the store, and especially if I have the kids!

So next time you go to the store, shop mostly on the outside, pay attention (turn the phone off!), read labels, spend wisely, and make the “healthier choice the easier choice” for your family! Happy shopping!

For more on smart shopping, check out Marion Nestle’s What to Eat: An Aisle-By-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices

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