• Stock up on seasonal produce items that have great eye appeal and good prices. This means fresh fruits and vegetables! It can also mean fun items that keep everyone more active outside.
• Seasonal fruit - Now is the time to stock up on more fruit and less packaged snacks! Or to visit a farmer’s market to spruce up the daily routine and try new things. It is best if you prepare the fruits so they are ready to grab and eat in the refrigerator. Use this checklist - and change up the items you buy each week to keep it fun/fresh/new:
• Seasonal vegetables - Tomatoes, corn, zucchini and potatoes can be used all week in a variety of meals and dishes. Plan meals with vegetables as the star. Keep baby carrots on hand for snacking.
• Put the healthiest food items in the easiest “see and reach” spots in your pantry and refrigerator. We recently configured the refrigerator to have yogurt, baby carrots and fresh fruit on the most visible middle shelf. Juice and water are the easiest to reach drinks. And there are plenty of leftover meals and ingredients for healthful snacks on hand.
• Buy less “junk food” and store it out of site or in hard-to-reach places. Eventually you will find your self eating less of it and buying less of it over time.
Use a variety of flavored vinegar to top salads. We have a fun picture in our blog: foodandhealth.com/blog that shows a decorative vinegar bottle being used as the table centerpiece. Consider that vinegar is less expensive and lower in sodium, fat and sugar than most bottled dressings.
Of course you can always top your fruit with a variety of flavored yogurt. Whole grain cereals Use these to top fruit treats or to put on top of baked fruit cobblers and yogurt. What a great and healthy way to add crunch and whole grains to your diet!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.