What’s in your grocery cart this winter season? With the holiday season quickly approaching, grocery shopping may be one of the top priorities on your to-do list. Keep your meal planning and grocery shopping organized to have a stress-free, happy, and healthy holiday with family and friends.
As you prepare for family holiday gatherings, remember to keep in mind the following tips to help make grocery shopping easier and ensure your meal is both healthy and nutritious.
- Make a list and check it twice. Before you go shopping, have a plan. Creating a shopping list can help you determine what you already have at home and what you need to buy at the grocery store. Having a grocery list is key to keeping yourself organized and saving time. Organize your list based on the different food groups to ensure your meal is well balanced.
- Go seasonal. Make seasonal fruits and vegetables the focal point of your meal! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables will help you get beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into your diet.
The winter season offers several fruits and vegetables such as pears, pomegranates, cranberries, winter squash, radishes, beets, and leafy greens. For example, winter squash can be roasted, puréed into a soup, or added to casseroles, while pears can be poached, made into a chutney, or added to a cobbler for a delicious holiday dessert. Click here for a roasted pear and butternut squash soup recipe.
- Stock up on canned goods. Remember, canned fruits and vegetables count towards your daily recommendations! Because canned products often have a long shelf life, keeping your pantry filled with canned fruits, vegetables, legumes, and broths can be convenient for any last-minute recipes you plan to make.
- Add variety into the mix. Try to check out multiple grocery stores, as they may have different prices, sales, and food selection. In addition, farmers markets provide fresh seasonal produce, while your local food co-op can offer specialty products not found at a typical grocery store.
For more ways to include fruits and vegetables into your holiday festivities, visit the CNS blog.
For more food shopping tips, check out MyPlate’s infographic on “Smart Shopping for Fruit and Vegetables.”