How To Shop and Still Maintain A Healthy Diet

Healthy eating starts with the choices we make at the supermarket.

In this post we will talk about healthy choices that we can make when doing the weekly shop. Stick to lean meats, fibre enriched foods and fresh fruit and vegetables to keep a heathy balanced diet.

With the tips and tricks in this post we can learn how to stick to a healthy balanced diet and make to right choices when shopping. The weekly shop doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. 

7 tips for smart shopping

1. Make a list and stick to it

Write a list of what you and your family plan to eat in the coming week and stick to this while shopping. You’ll spend less money and won’t be influenced by promotions that may not be that healthy.

2. Avoid shopping when hungry, rushed or stressed

Have a snack before you go food shopping and set aside enough time each week. Being hungry is the worse time to go shopping.. you will be tempted to buy naughty snacks that are not needed.

3. Beware of special offers

Buying ‘special offers’ can be very useful from a cost point of view but it can also end up with us buying what we don’t need. You can avoid the majority of unhealthy foods on special offer by skipping certain aisles and end-of-aisle shelves. Yes the kids need 1 packet of cakes.. but do they need two? Who will end up eating them before they go out of date?

4. Get to know your food labels

Food labels can be a bit confusing but comparing similar products when shopping can allow you to choose a healthier option. Be careful with treats.

5. Shop online

I always do my shopping online.. I stick to what I need and it is less likely I will buy things I don’t. 

6. Reduce the number of fatty and sugary treats in your trolley

These foods are not everyday foods. Remember, if you don’t buy it, it won’t be there to be eaten.

7. Shopping with children

If you bring the children shopping set clear rules on what they can put in the trolley. Don’t be tempted to allow them to have that extra bag of sweets or cakes that you will end up finishing.

Essential food to always keep in the house

Keeping certain key items in your fridge, freezer and cupboard can really help if you need to pull together a quick, easy and healthy meal. Here’s our suggested food to have in stock.

Fridge essentials

  • Skimmed milk
  • Cheese – choose strongly-flavoured, low-fat cheeses – you can use less and still have add lots of flavour. Add to omelettes, sandwiches and pasta dishes.
  • Fat Free Natural yoghurt – great with cereal, chopped fruit or as a topping on soups and curries.
  • Hummus – use as a spread on bread or serve with vegetable sticks for a quick snack. Make my delicious low fat hummus here.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables. Grapes and carrot are great ones for snacking
  • Eggs – scramble some eggs for breakfast or they can easily be turned into an omelette. Throw in some vegetables to make it even more tasty.
  • Cooked meat – Always good for snacking

Related Post: How much fruit and veg should I be eating?

Freezer essentials

  • Frozen fruit – add to yoghurts, smoothies, porridge or breakfast cereal.
  • Frozen vegetables – serve as a side with dinner, add to omelettes, curries, stews and soups. 
  • Bread – keep a stock of different types of bread. Pop in the toaster to defrost.
  • Fish & lean meat – buying meat & fish in bulk is often cheaper..
  • Leftovers – keep a note of what foods you have frozen and when. 

Related Post: 5 Common frozen food myths

Store Cupboard essentials

  • Tinned fruit 
  • Tinned beans and peas – use in place of meat in soups, stews and curries.
  • Tinned tomatoes – use as a sauce for pasta or an ingredient in dishes like lasagne and chilli con carne.
  • Tinned fish – can be used as a simple sandwich filler, as a topping for a jacket potato or mixed with pasta for a quick meal. Choose fish tinned in water or oil.
  • Herbs and spices – an inexpensive way of adding lots of flavour to your cooking.
  • Wholewheat varieties of pasta, rice, noodles and grains.
  • Porridge oats – a filling breakfast or use as a crunchy coating for fish or meat.

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