7 Tips for Forming Healthy Grocery Shopping Habits

| Farmer Focus

It’s almost 2017, and most of us are gearing up toward new goals to accomplish during the new year. A common resolution centers around a cleaner diet and more exercise. But starting and sticking to a new habit can be difficult if you don’t make tangible rules and checkpoints for yourself. If your new year’s resolution is to live a healthier lifestyle, the first step is to adjust the food that even enters your home. Here are some tips to keep your grocery shopping trips on track.

  1. 1. Stick to the outside perimeter of the store. That’s where all the fresh, whole foods are located. Makes trips to the center of the store infrequent. The inner aisles are where all the heavily processed foods hide in their colorful boxes and cans. Additionally, only shopping outside of the store keeps your grocery trips short and efficient.

  1. 2. Plan a weekly menu and post it in the kitchen. This will help form your grocery lists and keep you on track throughout the week. Our favorite weekly meal plans come from foodiewithfamily.com.

  1. 3. Don’t shop hungry. Eat a little snack before heading to the grocery store. It’s tempting to pick up items that can be immediately eaten while you’re hungry-shopping (this often means junk food). You are also more likely to stray from your weekly plan when all you can think about is devouring everything that meets your eye.

  1. 4. Pick up fresh items for quick breakfasts. Especially if you have kids, mornings can be hectic, and you might often find yourself leaving the house without something to eat. Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating the rest of the day. Or if you’re one to eat breakfast out, this generally high-fat morning meal can set the tone for your diet that day. Putting ingredients for a quick egg and veggie bake can last you through the week and can easily be frozen and reheated!

  1. 5. Buy frozen veggies. If you find yourself tossing rotten, fresh veggies in the trash week after week, buy frozen. The nutritional content is comparable to buying fresh and won’t go bad as fast.

  1. 6. Don’t be afraid to buy snacks. You WILL want to snack between meals. Denying yourself of this will make you unhappy and hungry and set you up for failure. Make sure to pick up quick and easy snacks to enjoy throughout the week. Keep it healthy with granola and yogurt, apple and peanut butter, or skim milk cheese sticks.

  1. 7. Always have quick meals on hand. Everyone is familiar with those nights you come home from work feeling tired. Not to mention you still have Jake’s soccer practice, Melissa’s ballet lessons, and end the night helping with homework. You’ll want to keep some chicken (make it organic, SVO chicken for a healthy upgrade) on hand to toss in a stir-fry with the frozen veggies you purchased above. That way, you can get back to your busy night and hopefully have time to relax after the kids are put to bed.

Remember, every day is a new day. You can always start again if you had to eat out more than you had hoped this week or caved when the kiddos wanted to go out for ice cream. Reflect on how the week went and make efforts to try again next week!

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