It’s the end of a long work day, you’re tired and still need to make dinner. You begrudgingly pull up to the grocery store and move fast towards whatever is cheap and easy. We’ve all been there. It’s hard to prepare a nutritious meal quickly at the end of a long day, or so we’ve been told by the clever box meal manufacturers who use words like “wholesome” and “meal in minutes” to entice us.
There are so many packaged, processed foods marketed as “healthy” it’s mind-boggling. In a fast-paced world, empty promises of nutritious, easy to prepare meals in a box can be so alluring. For the most part, if the food you are purchasing comes in a package or contains a bar code, it means it’s not fresh, nutritious food. Cheap, packaged convenience foods can be very tempting, but the cost to your health ensures those products are not the bargain they’re made out to be.
Although most are unhealthy, not all packaged foods are off limits. With careful planning and shopping, it is entirely possible to have inexpensive, nutritious and convenient meals and snacks. Don’t settle for processed, packaged nutritionally deficient products, when with a few modifications you can easily enjoy healthier options. Read labels, if there are ingredients listed you can’t easily pronounce, put the package down and walk away.
Healthy Packaged Foods
When shopping, be sure to include these healthy packaged options to your list.
Frozen Berries and Vegetables (They aren’t as good as fresh, but most are harvested and frozen at the peak of ripeness. Be sure to opt for brands with no preservatives or additives)
Healthy Shopping Tips
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where the freshest foods are kept. Packaged, processed junk foods are nearly always located in the center aisles. The outer perimeter will have fresh produce, refrigerated and frozen foods. When possible, buy local produce. It’s fresher and often less expensive. Many stores do carry local in-season fruits and vegetables.
The bulk foods section in many stores can be a great way to stock up on healthier convenience foods. Beans, rices, and other whole grain items are often fresher and less expensive when purchased in bulk. If you’re short on cash, but still want to ensure you’re eating healthy check out these 10 tips for eating healthy on a budget.
Each week, plan your meals and snacks before heading to the store. Buy fresh foods and package them yourself for quick, convenient snacks. A single serving of nuts and a cut up apple or homemade, healthy granola are simple, healthy snacks you can package and carry to work. Cook several servings of brown rice and refrigerate individually. Pull a serving out and warm it up with your favorite meal.
Many people have the idea that healthy eating is pricey and time consuming. It truly doesn’t have to be. Dried beans and brown rice are a couple of examples of versatile staples that are inexpensive. Both are healthy, filling and can be used in so many different types of recipes. A slow cooker is a great way to have a healthy, nutritious meal ready as soon as you come home. Buy fresh ingredients and let your slow cooker do the heavy lifting.
Need some more healthy grocery list ideas? Be sure to check out our ultimate 50 Super foods shopping list.
Do you love to cook with Quinoa or want to learn? Learning to cook with quinoa is simple! Your family will love these recipes, including our decadent fudge. Enjoy the fantastic recipes featured in The New Quinoa E-book.