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Share your shopping tips in FoodFit's community.

For more ideas see our Seven Step Plan for Healthy Living.

One family's secret weapon for shopping smart.

Nutrition Smarts

Healthy Food Shopping

Healthy eating begins with what you put in your shopping cart. It's important to see shopping not as a chore but as a way to explore food and to eat delicious meals.

Take advantage of two great tools: the Food Guide Pyramid, which lays out what makes a balanced diet and the Nutrition Facts Label, which takes the guesswork out of choosing foods that are full of vitamins and low in fat and sodium.

Never go grocery shopping hungry, your stomach will lead you astray. If you can, try to hit the store with a couple of new recipes in mind, say Bob Kinkead's Summer Salad Soup or Veggie City Dip. It¹ll give you purpose so you won¹t get stuck in the shopper's twilight zone — wandering the market trying to get inspired for dinner. For tons of helpful tips and healthy eating ideas, check out Great Adventures in Food by FoodFit's founder and CEO Ellen Haas. We did.

Here are five ways to make your food shopping healthy and fun:

Always try to buy something new when you go to the market. Whether it's a type of apple you've never heard of or an exotic-sounding mustard. Your taste buds will be grateful. More importantly, variety is key to a healthy diet.

Be organized so you don't flounder. Write your grocery list by food group or better yet by aisle, see FoodFit tips for one family¹s secret shopping weapon. That way you won¹t find yourself visiting the produce section two or three times during your shop.

Make use of convenience foods. When you need a small amount of celery or grated carrots for a salad or soup it can make dollars and sense to shop at the supermarket salad bar. That way you¹ll avoid waste too.

Always check the "use by" or "sell by" date. Be sure that the foods you pull out of the cooler are truly cold. Shop for perishable foods like milk, cheese, yogurt or meat last. See our Food Safety story for more tips.

Plan your meals around the seasons. You¹ll feel connected to nature, the fruits and vegetables will be fresher and taste better and they will cost less too. Check out our fruit and vegetable guides for what's in season now.

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The Saviet Family's Secret Shopping Weapon

To make shopping a cinch, this family of four in Cheverly, Maryland, has made a grocery list based on the layout of their supermarket — aisle by aisle — and photocopied it. Already written in are staples the family expects it will need each week, like bananas, milk or peanut butter.

"It takes the work out of it,"says wife Liz. "But the real key is having your husband do the shopping."

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