7 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning Creating healthy meals and grocery shopping for healthy foods can be difficult! The aisles are filled with not-so-good-for-you choices and temptations. We’re here to help steer you in the right direction and get you in and out without a cart full of preservatives and energy-zapping foods.

Create a meal plan

Before you head out the door, spend a bit of time looking up recipes and perusing your fridge and pantry. See if you can build a meal out of items you have on hand. Jump on our Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/chiroonebewell for a heap of excellent, actually tasty, healthy recipes. Our Clean Eating board is a fan favorite. Once you’ve selected this week’s menu, display it prominently somewhere in the kitchen, perhaps on a dry erase board on the fridge.

Write a detailed list, grouping items

By writing out a detailed list (include measurements and quantities!), you’re less likely to forget that necessary item. Also, as you layout your list, group items into the designated areas of the grocery store, i.e., produce, dairy products, meat and fish, dry foods, etc. This takes some of the headache out of a trip to the store.

Shop the perimeter

This might be our most important tip! Think about it: the perimeter of the grocery store contains fresh, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and dairy, while the center aisles are stacked with junk foods and processed foods. Create your shopping list based off these whole, fresh foods and stick to these sections of the store whenever possible.

Buy items without a label or container

Along the same lines as the last tip, focus on buying as many foods without a label and without a container as possible. Seek out a grocery store with a bulk section so you can get nuts, dried fruits and grains like quinoa, oats, teff, faro, barley and millet. Often, you’ll also find a grinder where you can make your own nut butter on the spot!

Look for items with 5 ingredients or less

Buying whole foods isn’t always an option for everyone, so when you’re looking for something that’s prepared or something that’s quick to throw together, read the label. Make a goal to purchase items with five ingredients or less, bonus if you can read (and understand) every ingredient.

7 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning

Store fruits and veggies on the shelves, not the crisper

Once you’re home, skip storing your fruits and veggies in the crisper; place them in sight on the shelves of your fridge. GASP—but they’ll go bad more quickly!! Here’s the thing: if you forget about them in the crisper and leave them to rot, what’s the point? Keeping them in your line of sight will increase the likelihood that you’ll eat them.

Prep now, snack healthy later

Take a bit of time (20 minutes or so!) to prep your vegetables and fruits so they’re ready to eat. Clean and cut up your carrots, peppers, celery, snap peas, etc. and place them in an easy-to-grab container for your next snack. It’s easier to eat healthy when the snacks are ready to go!