Most food stores are overrun with a wide selection of different brands of food products and this can make it difficult to shop for the right foods. All these different brands claim to be healthy for your child.
While this may be the case, it is difficult to know which product to buy when all manufacturers claim their food is the best on the shelves. To make shopping for groceries easy, you can follow some very basic criteria that will make you feel less overwhelmed.
The points below outline some guidelines that each food item should fit into.
It might take some time getting used to the criteria, but by your third shopping trip, it will be easy to pick out the right foods without wasting countless hours in the supermarket:
Pick brands that list few ingredients
If the packaged food you want to buy has too many ingredients, do not buy it. Foods that have been over-processed usually have too many ingredients, most of which you cannot identify. Lesser ingredients on the package usually mean that the food is more whole.
For instance, if you are buying oats, the only ingredient on the package will be oats. It has no additives or chemicals that could be harmful to your child’s health.
Go for organic foods
Fruits and vegetables that are organically grown do not come into contact with poisonous chemicals and fertilizers. Likewise meat products such as whole30 jerky are organic and are therefore healthy.
Buy whole fruits and vegetables
The best source of vitamins for your kids is whole fruits and vegetables.
Most product labels will claim that the finished product it’s made from whole fruits and vegetables, but you cannot be sure of this. It is therefore better to buy whole fruits and vegetables to ensure your child is getting the best nutrition.
You should also make your juices at home with whole fruits as opposed to buying the packaged juices which have sugar and preservatives.
Avoid artificial colors and flavors
Manufacturers add flavors and colors to foods to appeal to kids who mostly want to eat sweet foods.
Foods with artificial colors and flavors cause hyperactivity and mood swings in children. Look for foods made with real fruit or vegetable pulp as these tend to have their natural color and flavor and will offer the best nutrition.
Buy what’s in season
When buying fresh produce such as vegetables, buying the food in season ensures you get the full nutritional value of the food.
Foods in season also tend to be cheaper as they are locally grown, therefore they are the best choice.
Buy whole grain
When buying products such as wheat flour only buy flour that is 100% whole-grain. It’s also good to include other whole-grain foods in your child’s diet such as quinoa, brown rice and oats as they are usually rich in dietary fiber and minerals like zinc.
If you adhere to the above guidelines when you are shopping for groceries, you can be sure that your kids are eating only the healthiest foods.