We all have different feelings about grocery shopping. Do you find delight in going up and down the aisles, mesmerized at the variety of foods that are available for purchase? Or do you dread it, and feel like going to the grocery store is torture? Are you an avid coupon clipper who looks at grocery shopping as the ultimate challenge?
Whatever your feelings about grocery shopping are, it’s a necessity. As we become busier with our work, our community involvement, school and our families, our time spent at the store is more valuable than ever. Grocery stores have changed to cater to busy lifestyles and have become bigger to fit a wider variety of items. How can you maximize your grocery shopping time while still making healthy food choices?
Research shows that as food variety increases so does the amount of food we eat. That is, the fewer food choices or variety we have, the less we eat. Keeping this in mind can serve as a strategy to cut down on our intake, but can be hard to do when there are so many different foods to buy! The key to healthy grocery store shopping is to not get overwhelmed by the multitude of choices.
One good strategy is to shop with a prepared list to help curb impulse buys. To avoid getting distracted from your whole-food options, keep your shopping to the perimeter of the grocery store, where the fresh produce is placed. If you need to venture into the aisles, you might have questions. How do you know what is the healthiest version of a particular food? Which is the best choice for cereal? Which nut butter is best? What about condiments and salad dressings? Is a low fat salad dressing the best choice? Is organic better?
These questions and more will be answered at free, half-hour grocery store tours at Festival Foods in Neenah, 647 South Green Bay Road, on January 22 at 6:30 p.m. and at Festival Foods in Oshkosh, 2415 Westowne Avenue, on January 23 at 11 a.m. Anyone can attend these tours, but be sure to call NurseDirect at 800.362.9900 to register.
These grocery store tours are possible thanks to a collaboration between Ministry Health Care and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and will be hosted by UWGB dietetic students under the supervision of registered dietitians. Space is limited so please register as soon as you can. Additional tours will be held at Festival Foods in Green Bay, 2348 Lineville Road, on January 29 at 6:30 p.m. (RSVP to A Women’s Place at 920-498-4205) and at Festival Foods in Sheboygan, Taylor Heights Shopping Center, on Friday January 30th at 11 a.m. (RSVP by calling 920-459-4636 or register online at https://www.stnicholashospital.org/classes).
The last group I led through one of these grocery store tours reported they learned a lot but also had fun! So if you have food questions, and want to have a little bit of food fun on Saturday, call today to register! See you in the fruit aisle!