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How to improve the health of your shopping basket...part one

22 Jun 2012 3:04 PM - Tips for saving time and improving nutrition

It's very easy to make food shopping a last minute exercise.  You race in, not sure what you need, grab a few items and rush out.

What do you think the result of that is?  I'm guessing that over the course of time it results in an increased consumption of packaged, pre-prepared foods with not a lot of thought as to how that might be affecting your health in the long term. Or maybe you are making healthy choices, it's just that you are choosing the same foods week in, week out.

So, here's 7 tips for improving the health of your shopping basket and therefore the health of you and your loved ones. 

  1. Set aside 10-15 minutes each week to do a meal plan.  That's all the time you need to think about breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.  If you want to study recipe books it might take a bit longer but otherwise 10 minutes should do it.  You might think you don't have time to do that but think about how much time it will save you during the week not having to think about every meal with the same old "what will we have for dinner tonight?" problem.  Doing this also increases your likelihood of having balance and variety in your meals, therefore your nutrition improves!

  2. Always make a shopping list.  It avoids the need to wander around the supermarket therefore saving time and reducing the chances of being tempted by foods you probably don't need and which are probably not the healthiest choices. (It's in my nature to organise my list by aisle which saves even more time...but maybe that's just me).

  3. Stick to the outside aisles of the supermarket.  This is usually where the fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy are kept.  These are the items which hopefully constitute the bulk of your basket.  If you are lucky you can do a whole shop without venturing into the centre aisles.

  4. Only venture into the centre aisles to get specific things on your list like toilet paper, pet food etc.  This helps to avoid temptation.

  5. If you are buying foods in packets, learn to read nutritional panels.  (See part two).

  6. Try to avoid food shopping when hungry (not always possible I know but if you have a list that will help enormously).

  7. Look at the amount of GST on your bill.  The lower it is, the healthier your shopping basket! 

Shopping with health in mind might take a little longer at first (mainly while you are studying nutrition panels) but if you have a list and a meal plan in mind you'll make up that time easily.  You'll find the variety of what you eat improves and the stress of wondering what to eat decreases. And chances are your health will improve too!

Yours in good health,



Kaye Wright
Melbourne CBD

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