Five healthy food shopping tips to feed the family

Shopping for the family can be tough particularly when everyone has different tastes. To accommodate for everyone, I find that the best approach is to make sure you have a core base of foods that everyone eats from and then include everyone’s preferences on top of that.

Core foods to include in everyone’s diet

  • Vegetables (everything from leafy green vegetables through to root vegetables such as parsnips and sweet potatoes)

  • Salad (spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and more…)

  • Fruits (choose local fruits where you can; berries, apples, pears and locally grown grapes) – think seasonal

  • Compliment the above with high protein meat-based foods such as chicken, eggs, turkey, white fish)

  • Be sure to include grains, seeds and nuts to ensure there is plenty of fibre in your diet such as grains and seeds you might find in some breads, quinoa, bulgar wheat and buckwheat that can be served with salad or as a pasta and rice replacement.

Once you have established the core foods that you can feed everyone as a base in their diet, you can then include other foods that family members are requesting.

Here are my FIVE healthy shopping tips:

1) Never go shopping when you are hungry or when the children are hungry. If this is unavoidable, then try to eat something on the journey and give something to the children. If you shop online, then make sure you have a full stomach to avoid impulse buying on foods you don’t really want.

2) If you are shopping at the supermarket, then hit up the vegetable and fruit area as soon as you can. Spend time walking through the fresh fruit and veggie area looking at the offers and try to choose locally grown food (British food). If you are shopping online, then save your favourites and add them to your basket. REMEMBER: Anything that’s usually on offer is because it’s in season. It’s a good idea to try and eat fruit, vegetables, salad and meats as seasonal. This will help for a number of reasons such as; encouraging your body to get into it’s natural life cycle, cost effective and supporting British farmers.

3) Avoid buying foods from cans. Canned food is often stored in cans that use BPA. BPA is a chemical compound similar to the structure and function of oestrogen. BPA can bind to oestrogen receptors and influence bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, foetal development, energy levels and reproduction [1]. BPA is banned in some countries around the world, however it is not banned in the UK [2].

4) Limit the amount of refined sugar found in cakes, chocolates, white bread, you buy and sugary drinks such as juices and fizzy drinks. Fruit juices are fine but be mindful if you have a juice and then have some fruit, then that’s quite a lot of sugar in a short time. And if you do buy these foods, then hide some of them in the kitchen somewhere. I find that hiding the foods prevents them from being eaten too quickly because if there is an abundance of them on show, then they are more likely to be eaten.

5) Planning meals in advance is a good way to manage budget and also avoid buying convenience foods. Try and manage a weekly shop and top up throughout the week on the fresh food essentials such as wholemeal bread with grains and seeds, milk, fruit and vegetables. If you are low on other foods, then consider buying more the next time you shop to make it last

Feel free to make comments below if you have any further healthy shopping suggestions, and remember to store and prepare your food in the safest cleanest environment to prevent any contamination of food.

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