Doing a regular shop at the grocery store for the family instead of buying take-away food can save you money and improve your family's health.
Use the steps below to help you shop smart and shop healthy this week.
Plan a regular shop
When we don’t have food in the pantry at home, we often settle for convenience and take-away food that costs the family more and contains too much salt, saturated fat and sugar. By planning a regular shop, once a week, you can keep your pantry full of delicious food and avoid last-minute impulse buys.
Having healthy food ready in the house also makes it a lot easier for your family to put together a healthy snack or meal and
develop healthy eating habits.
Small step: Plan a day this week to do a shop at the grocery store. Maybe take the kids along to teach them what kind of healthy food is available.
Write a shopping list
Without a shopping list, we often end up buying foods we’re craving or that our kids ask for, instead of foods that are actually good for our family’s health.
- Choose one of our
healthy recipes and add the ingredients to a shopping list. Why not choose a recipe that the kids can help you with, as
kids are more likely to eat something they’ve helped prepare.
- Take a look at our
weekly menu plan to find healthy snack ideas and add them to your shopping list. You can store foods like healthy popcorn, nuts and crispbread in re-usable containers, so your kids can always find healthy snacks.
- When you get to the supermarket, fill your shopping trolley with mainly fresh fruit and vegetables, which you can find on the outer edges of the supermarket. Take another look at the
basics of healthy eating to see the kinds of food your family needs for a healthy diet.
Use the Health Star Rating
When you are buying packaged food – like cereal, dairy and canned food – you can use the
Health Star Rating to see which is the healthiest. The Health Star Rating compares the nutritional value of many packaged foods to help you choose the healthiest products while shopping. Ratings range from half a star to five stars. The more stars, the healthier the choice.
Follow these steps:
Look for Health Star Rating labels on the front of packaged food and drink when you go shopping.
Compare similar types of foods (for example, compare one cereal with another cereal, but don’t compare cereal with yoghurt) and pick the product with the highest Health Star Rating. Remember, the more stars, the healthier the choice.
Try and choose products that have
at least three and a half stars. For inspiration, try one of our healthy recipes.
Remember to also stock up on plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. The Health Star Rating is only used on packaged products, so remember to also fill your shopping trolley with plenty of foods from the five food groups.
Use frozen and canned options to save time
Frozen and canned vegetables and fruit are also nutritious and are a quick addition to bulk out any family meal.
Tips for canned foods
Choose canned fruit and vegetables that come in their own juices or water, rather than in syrup or sauce, and check that there is no added salt or sugar.
Tips for frozen food
- When you cook a family meal, cook a large portion and freeze the leftovers so you have quick and easy meals ready in the freezer for later. You can use these leftovers in a toasted sandwich, or serve them with a different base (such as couscous, mash potato or noodles) or with vegetables on the side (such as peas, broccoli or green beans).
- Mark frozen items with the date and use them within a few months to retain quality.
- Freeze sliced wholegrain bread and take out only what you need to save waste.
- Freeze meat, chicken and fish in meal-sized portions, so it’s ready to cook.