August 2010
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As parents, we are responsible for our children’s nutrition. And much as we want to offer kids with an array of delicious foods, we have to consider how these foods affect their health. Shopping for your food is a very significant step in ensuring that everything we give our kids are nutritious. Remember, anything you put into your grocery cart may affect their health and perception about healthy foods.

Look at the cart you’re pushing. Does it contain healthy foods like fruits and vegetables? Or is it just stuffed with food items that are less or aren’t healthy at all?

Providing your family with good nutrition always starts with the kind of food you buy for them. So if you want to improve their diet, try to change what you’re buying at the market and grocery stores. Here are some guidelines on healthy foods shopping:

First, make a list and bring it along while you’re shopping for your food. A list is very vital particularly if you are on a tight budget. It will keep you on track and will help you avoid buying unnecessary things. It’s also advisable to make a meal plan first before formulating your grocery list as this is where you will be getting the food items and ingredients you need for the whole week. Among the usual ingredients of healthy menus are fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, poultry, lean meat, dairy products, and whole grains. Since kids are used to eating in between meals, then make sure you also include healthy snacks on your list.

Second, have a good strategy while on your shopping trip. Such strategy involves going first to the healthiest foods sections such as the aisles where produce, dairy products, lean meat and poultry, and fresh fish are placed. Your next stop must be the area where you’ll find baking supplies, sauces, canned or frozen fruits and veggies, and cereals. And if you really can’t avoid going to the aisles of processed foods and drinks as well as other less healthy foods, then that should be the last place to visit while in a grocery store.

Third, it is good if you can purchase produce from local farmers’ market and from food co-ops because these are really good sources of fresh and good-quality fruits and vegetables. Food co-ops are also great because they usually sourced their products from local farmers who use only organic fertilizers and avoid pesticides and other chemicals. These food sources are indeed great for people who are in a rawfood diet.

Fourth, try to buy in-season produce. By doing so, you’ll be able to get an excellent bargain in taste and low-priced produce. Keep in mind, however, to purchase only what you and your family can consume for the whole week.

Last, if you haven’t got the chance to pick the fruits and veggies by yourself, then just be careful in selecting the ones to buy. It won’t be very hard for you because farm produce usually display signs of their ripeness or freshness. Get only those colorful, crisp, and firm veggies. Avoid those that are already limp and with signs of decay. Also, avoid getting bruised fruits.

Marilyn has been fascinated with the work of the Healthy Lifestyle Nutritionist and Guru, David Wolfe and has a blog which keeps up with the latest in the world of Healthy Lifestyles at Raw Food Diets. See more about Healthy Foods.

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