Proper nutrition is essential for the health of your family. Purchasing wholesome and safe food can be done through smart shopping, whereby the shopper pre-plans to make informed choices. A smart shopper also ensures value for money, and refrains from impulse buys.


There are three steps to make certain you are shopping smart; plan, shop, and head home.

Plan

Spending randomly on discount items can be prevented by planning ahead.

Having a plan lets you know of your budget so that you stick to it.

Studies have shown that you are likely to spend 17% more if you shop with an empty stomach. So have a snack before you leave for grocery shopping.

A "to buy" list will also help you decide the food items that have to be purchased, and avoid on the spot buys.

Shop

Don’t deviate from your “to buy” list. Attractive promotional ads maybe enticing but you have to stay away from them.

The right products can be selected by reading and comparing nutrition labels.

Make sure to check and select grocery items that have a longer expiry date. Don’t purchase items like rusted tins or squashed packaging as the food inside may be spoilt.

Frozen or dairy food items have a tendency to spoil easily therefore visit these sections in the end.

Head Home

Sort and cache the foods, especially perishables, as soon as you reach home to prevent spoilage.

Go straight home if you have bought fresh or chilled foods.

Store food in containers before placing into the refrigerator but first separate raw food from cooked food.


Your shopping list will be a guide for you to opt for items that are needed. The budget you calculated while pre-planning must always be kept in mind on the basis of which you can choose affordable quality commodities.

Following is a list of common food items and subsequent tips to help you decide on healthier picks.

Rice.Choose brown or unpolished rice as it is better than white rice; it contains important minerals, is an antioxidant, and is high in fibre.

Bread. Settle on wholegrain, wholemeal and fortified products. They contain more nutrients.

Fruits and Vegetables. Different vegetables and fruits with a variety of colours should be bought every week so that your family doesn’t miss out on any natural goodness.

Biscuits. Biscuits made of oats or dried fruits and nuts should be selected rather than an array of sweetened cream filled products as it is healthier.

Milk. Condensed and sweetened creamer milk is not regarded as milk, therefore purchase full cream milk for your child to consume.

Meat. Processed or can meat contain added chemical preservatives that are harmful for one’s health. Choose fresh lean meat instead.

Processed food. Today’s fast pace lifestyle has been made easier by the availability of processed food. However, try to choose brands with lower sugar, fat and salt content.


It is a well known fact that children are picky eaters and it’s often difficult to slip nutrition into their diets. So how to make them interested in the benefits of nutrition? Children, who have been involved in the selection of ingredients and the preparation of foods, are usually more interested to eat the food served. For that reason, shopping together for food is a great opportunity for you to teach your child about food and nutrition, and to help them make sensible decisions.


There are various ways to ignite and develop your child’s interest in food shopping. You could start by making your child get familiarized with food in their natural forms. This includes raw vegetables and fruits of different colours, textures and smells. Also, make sure you point out benefits of each food item, for instance why fruits are good for them or why milk is good for bones and teeth. Moreover, let your child help you select certain items like fruits and important canned foods for further acquaintance with such products. Lastly, but most importantly, tell your child about the importance of food labels and nutritional levels.