What Goes into a Dietitian’s Grocery Cart?

I LOVE FOOD.  I also love how food makes me feel, when I choose to eat well.  Nutrient diversity is important for gut health, so I select foods from every food group and produce of every color to incorporate throughout each week.  Here is a quick rundown of foods that cultivate my cart. 

Healthy eating begins in your grocery cart!

  1. A variety of colorful fruits and veggies to serve raw or cooked throughout the week. I keep apples, bananas, orange cuties, cherry tomatoes and seasonal produce on the counter and grapes, sliced peppers and carrots in the fridge for quick, easy snacks.  (My dietitian heart flutters when my 5 year old chooses a handful of cherry tomatoes as a snack after school!)

  2. Whole grains for their natural nutrition and fantastic fiber.  This includes quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal and barley – to name a few.

  3. Lean protein such as skinless, boneless chicken breast, turkey, a variety of seafood, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils and cheese.

  4. Healthy fats including extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, and nut/seed butters.

  5. Milk, which varies weekly and includes organic cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk and plain Greek yogurt which I flavor at home with fruit, granola, nuts, honey and/or jam.

  6. Condiments and pasta sauces (low in salt and added sugar) with short, simple ingredient lists I can pronounce.

  7. Coffee and Tea leaves or bags for a fresh, warm cup of goodness when I want a change from water.

  8. Dark chocolate in the form of individually wrapped candies, mini dark chocolate chips mixed into homemade trail mix, or dark chocolate cocoa. (Dark chocolate is a must in my house!)

  9. Kid snacks like string cheese, no-sugar added apple sauce, whole grain fig bars, and whole grain pretzels and crackers.

  10. “Sometimes” treats, which vary.  If my kids shop with me and behave in the store, they can choose a “sometimes” treat which is any food or drink in the store that’s kid safe.

Helpful tips when shopping:

  1. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry – your food choices will reflect your hunger rather than your desire for health.

  2. Write a grocery list to help you stay focused and on track while shopping.

  3. Begin shopping in the produce section while you are feeling most ambitious to shop and eat well.

  4. Buy a fruit or vegetable you haven’t tried before, or one that you haven’t tasted recently, and find a good recipe for it!

  5. Set a limit on your “sometimes” treats before entering the store and stick to it.

  6. Schedule a Grocery Store Tour with me to make grocery shopping trips more nutritious, fun and efficient!