By Bernice Kwan
Have you been planning (or been told) to eat more healthy? Some noteworthy nutrition goals you may have heard of or attempted to try:
- Aim for 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day
- Choose whole grains over refined grains
- Replace saturated/trans fats with heart-healthy fats
Though healthy eating may seem like a clear and simple message, it can be challenging to fit nutrition goals into our lives along with class, work and extracurricular activities. As students, most of us value convenience and may resort to fast food options that provide a quick bite to eat but offer little to no nutrition. Fitting more nutritious foods on your plate can support long-term health and should be just as important as studying for exams or working on the job. You can find ways to help you take charge of your health and wellness while saving time, money and costs of poor eating habits in the long run. There are numerous ways to begin – start with these tips to help you stay on track with your personal nutrition goals!
Shop Once, Eat All Week: Save time from taking multiple trips to the grocery store and shop for groceries to last you the week or even month! Create a grocery game plan and customize a list of kitchen essentials and staples to help you focus on your nutritional needs while saving money & time!
Don’t know where to start? Check out The Ultimate Healthy Grocery List!
Plan for Success: Avoid the stress of deciding what to eat each day and prepare meals for the week or even month. Planning your meals can save your time, money and sanity!
Need ideas? Take a look at this Sample Menu!
Top Picks to Fill Your Cart: Focus on fresh, wholesome foods, which are usually found on the perimeter of the supermarket (e.g. produce aisle and dairy section). Most highly, processed foods are located in the middle aisles, but you can certainly find nutritious options there as well, such as:
Cereal: low in sugar (<10g) and moderate-to-high in dietary fiber (>5g)
Canned foods: low-sodium beans, seafood (e.g. tuna), pumpkin, tomato, low-sugar marinara/pasta sauce.
Grains: brown rice, wild rice, barley, bulgur, farro, quinoa, kasha, whole wheat pasta or bread.
Beans: dried – a whole variety
Freezer: fruits and vegetables
Feel lost in the grocery store? Take these Tips for Every Aisle!
Snack Smarter: Snacking doesn’t always have to mean chips and candy bars. In fact, when chosen mindfully, snacks can help you with portion control when mealtime comes around. Try these quick and easy options:
- Hummus with raw veggies
- Air-popped popcorn
- Plain yogurt with fresh berries
- Peanut butter with apple slices
Satisfy crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty cravings with Healthy Snacks for Every Craving!
Fitting more nutrition into your life may not be as difficult as you think – the first step is to just get started! You may find yourself saving more time and money and also enjoying foods you never tried before! Don’t let your health take the back seat and start with small changes to get ahead and achieve good health for life.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain