Call it MyPlate Mania – but I have to say everything you eat and do around food can be centered around MyPlate principles. I was super excited to write a blog post for the Chobani blog (which seriously is my favorite yogurt) that gave Grocery Store Tricks for a Healthier Shopping Trip – including how to fill your cart like your plate. I wanted to expand on that topic a little for this post because I know it is a valuable way to build healthier meals at home – by having the right foods on hand.
I like to think of my shopping cart like my plate – that is MyPlate.
How do you make a MyCart Shopping Trip?
- Take your shopping cart and divide it into fourths visually and fill half of your cart with all kinds of fruits and vegetables – fresh, frozen, canned or dried. To focus on fruits and vegetables, start your shopping trip in the produce aisle – that’s when you will have the most room in the cart. You will likely buy a little more produce that way. As soon as you get done with the fresh aisle, aim for the frozen and canned.
- Opposite that half of the cart – fill one fourth of the cart with whole grains – breads, tortillas, pasta, brown rice, quinoa and so many more. The Whole Grains Council is a valuable resource for all things whole grain including excellent recipes.
- The other fourth of the cart includes healthy proteins. Stop by the seafood counter and pick up enough seafood to feed your family twice a week. Check out lean beef – did you know there are 29 cuts that are classified as lean? You can also find lean cuts of pork and poultry. And not all protein has to be found from meat – I always have nuts, nut butters, eggs and beans on hand at all times.
- Now you think you are done – but don’t forget the dairy! The perfect place for it is the space at the top of the cart that tends to hold the kids. Even though you make your way to the dairy department last (to keep your foods the coldest), it doesn’t mean that it’s last in importance. For about 25 cents a cup, milk provides nine essential nutrients including calcium and vitamin D that aren’t easily found in other foods in the quantity that milk would provide. Other must haves are yogurt and cheese. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is an excellent source of protein, providing 14 grams per serving. And cheese is a natural source of high quality protein that can help satisfy hunger.
Our shopping trip is finished! Of course, those extras can fit in the cart too, just fill your cart like your plate, you will create the perfect balance.