One of the easiest things you can do to eat healthy is go to the market with a shopping list, and then stick to the list. With a list, you’re much less likely to make “impulse purchases.” You know the type I’m talking about: As you’re strolling down the aisle or standing in the checkout line, some product grabs your attention and you buy it – on an impulse.

Here are 5 healthy benefits of making a shopping list before you go to the market:

Meal planning. When you write down what you’re going to need from the store, you have to think about what you’ll be cooking in the coming days. This encourages you to plan meals, and that’s good. Studies show meals that are planned tend to be healthier than meals made with little or no planning.

Avoiding junk food. When you put items on your list, you are more likely to include healthy, nutritious foods. Who wants to have a list with nothing but “junk food” on it? It causes you to step back and look at what you’re buying, and that helps you make better choices.

More balanced diet. Writing down your list causes you to look at and evaluate what you’re eating. When it’s written down you can easily see if you have a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, as well as other healthy foods.

Less expense. A shopping list helps in 2 ways here. Writing down what you need allows you to look over the list and decide exactly what you really need, not what you might want. It also helps you avoid the impulse buying we talked about above, and that reduces your spending too.

Less time shopping. A shopping list also helps you get through the market much faster. Instead of wandering up and down every aisle, you can go right to the foods you need and avoid the ones you don’t. If you shop with your family, a list also lets you send family members on “hunting trips” for specific items.

You don’t need anything fancy, just a pencil and paper. If you want something more, then try one of the many smartphone apps for list making. One that I just started using is Shopping Lists Manager from Valuephone. There’s a version for both iPhones and Android phones. I like Shopping Lists Manager because it lets you keep multiple lists, so I keep one for Costco and one for the market. It also lets you “check off” each item as you put it into your cart, so you can easily see what you have left to buy.

Whether you use a smartphone app or just a pen and paper, shopping with a list is essential to healthy eating. Try it the next time you go to the market.

Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
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You may also want to read: Know What You’re Eating with Fooducate, PLU Codes Demystified, Healthy Eating: You Have to Read the Label

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