It doesn’t have to be complicated to eat better. It is easier to make more nutritious meals at home if you make healthier decisions at the grocery store. You don’t have to change your favourites, just make a better choice to improve the nutritional value of those favourites.
These 10 simple swaps at the grocery store will give your meals a boost of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals without changing the menu. Give some (or all!) of them a try.
10 Simple Swaps to Make At the Grocery Store
Swap out the enriched white bread. My kids were in school before they realized there even was a different kind of bread. Switch to whole grain and whole wheat bread. They get the benefit of whole grains and more fiber from their sandwich at lunch and toast at breakfast.
Swap out the artificial sweet stuff. We love eating healthy pancakes and waffles at our house and topping it with syrup is a must – but ditch the artificially coloured and flavoured variety. Switch to pure maple syrup. It is a bit more expensive but it is a syrup in its true form and not processed.
Swap out the plain noodles. Void of much nutritional values, plain noodles add little to your spaghetti, lasagna and mac and cheese meals. Switch to whole wheat pasta’s to get the added nutrition from fiber or try something really different like zucchini noodles!
Swap out the sugary cartoon cereals. Be very selective in the cereals you offer in your pantry. Low sugar, high grain cereals only. Nothing with artificial colours, marshmallows or chocolate bits. Cereal is a nutritious start to the day, but not if it looks more like a dessert. Switch to plain cheerios and cereals and top with real fruit if the kids need colour and a sweet flavour.
Swap out the processed cheese options. The slices, the spreads, the tubes, these items are not real cheese. Switch to buying only real cheddar.
Swap out the added hydrogenated oil and sweetened peanut butter. There should only be one ingredient in peanut butter and that is peanuts. Switch to an all natural peanut butter. Add apple slices or honey to your pb sandwiches if kids need it a bit sweeter.
Swap out the sugary low fat tube yogurt types. Yogurt should have fat and protein, it should not have tons of sugar and artificial flavours. Switch to Greek Yogurt and get he goodness of protein.
Swap out the fruit in a cup, a syrup, or squeeze tube. Fruit is found in the product section at the grocery store. Switch to real fruit only. Take the time to wash it, slice it and serve in place of anything that tells you it is made with “real fruit.”
Swap out the cocktails, punch and juice drinks. Be very label savvy when buying juice. Switch to only 100% real juice and check labels carefully. Many labels look identical to the real juice and in very tiny print will say juice drink or cocktail. Get the added vitamins and nutrients from real juice and even consider those with added calcium, omega 3s or vitamin D.
Swap out the processed instant oats. Oatmeal is a super nutritious breakfast but the quicker cooking the oats the less nutritional value it has. Switch to rolled oats and make your own instant packets or plan ahead and make refrigerated oatmeal or this overnight slow cooker oatmeal using nutrient dense steel cut oats.