Karen Ensle Ed.D., RD, FADA, CFCS
Family and Community Health Sciences Educator
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County
Planning is the key to food shopping and feeding your family healthier meals. Take simple, small steps to make sure you have nutritious foods on your shelf and in your refrigerator. To eat healthy meals, follow these five steps:
Step 1: Plan ahead
Decide how many major meals you will be shopping for. Then, consider the number of food items you will need for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. Take an inventory of your staples, such as low-fat milk, whole grains (brown rice, cereals and pasta), fresh fruit, vegetables, salad greens and veggies for a salad, whole grains (brown rice, cereals, and pasta), healthy beverages, and any ingredients needed during the week for planned main dishes such as soups, stews, casseroles, and one-dish meals.
Step 2: Make a shopping list
A shopping list makes your trip faster and will help you avoid impulse purchases. Try to buy only what is on your list. If you see new healthy foods, don’t be afraid to try them. Keep your list flexible, but make sure you buy healthy foods for the next week.
When making your shopping list, make sure it includes food items you'll need to follow the menus you set up for the week. Also, be sure your list includes healthy and convenient snack foods. Suggestions include:
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