Shop For A Healthy Diet

Safefood

Healthy eating starts with the choices we make at the supermarket.

6 tips for smart shopping

1. Make a list and stick to it

Write a list of what you and your family plan to eat in the coming week and stick to this while shopping. You’ll spend less and will be less influenced by promotions that may not be that healthy.

2. Avoid shopping when hungry, rushed or stressed

Have a snack before you go food shopping and set aside enough time each week.

3. Beware of special offers

Buying 'special offers' can be very useful from a cost point of view but it can also end up with us buying what we don’t want. You can avoid the majority of unhealthy foods on special offer by skipping certain aisles and end-of-aisle shelves.

4. Get to know your food labels

Food labels can be a bit confusing but comparing similar products when shopping can allow you to choose a healthier option. Be careful with treats.

5. Reduce the number of fatty and sugary treats in your trolley

These foods are not everyday foods. Remember, if you don’t buy it, it won’t be there to be eaten.

6. Shopping with children

If you bring the children shopping set clear rules on what they can put in the trolley.

Food to keep in stock

Keeping key food items in your fridge, freezer and cupboard can really help if you need to pull together quick, easy and healthy meals. Here’s our suggested food to have in stock.

  • Fridge essentials
  • Low-fat milk
  • Cheese – choose strongly-flavoured, low-fat cheeses – you can use less and still have add lots of flavour. Add to omelettes, toasties and pasta dishes.
  • Natural yoghurt – great with cereal, chopped fruit or as a topping on soups and curries.
  • Hummus – use as a spread on bread or serve with vegetable sticks for a quick snack.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Eggs – scramble some eggs for breakfast or they can easily be turned into an omelette. Throw in some vegetables to make it even more tasty.

Freezer essentials

  • Frozen fruit – add to yoghurts, smoothies, porridge or breakfast cereal (remember frozen imported berries must be boiled for at least one minute before consumption).
  • Frozen vegetables – serve as a side with dinner, add to omelettes, curries, stews and soups. Add to rice with a dash of low-salt soy sauce for a quick dinner.
  • Bread – keep a stock of different types of bread. Pop in the toaster to defrost.
  • Fish & lean meat – buying meat & fish in bulk is often cheaper. When you get home, separate into the amount you would need for one meal, then place into freezer bags or plastic containers.
  • Leftovers – keep a note of what foods you have frozen and when. Use them one day when you're pressed for time.

Cupboard essentials

  • Tinned fruit (pick fruit tinned in its own juice) – have as a dessert after a meal, add to porridge or yoghurt, or blend into a smoothie.
  • Tinned beans and peas – use in place of meat in soups, stews and curries.
  • Tinned tomatoes – use as a sauce for pasta or an ingredient in dishes like lasagne and chilli con carne.
  • Tinned fish – can be used as a simple sandwich filler, as a topping for a jacket potato or mixed with pasta for a quick meal. Choose fish tinned in water or oil.
  • Herbs and spices – an inexpensive way of adding lots of flavour to your cooking.
  • Wholewheat varieties of pasta, rice, noodles and grains.
  • Porridge oats – a filling breakfast or use as a crunchy coating for fish or meat.

Useful resources

Vital Nutrition offers a complete range of corporate health and workplace wellbeing...
This course is for midwives and aims to explain the science behind the different types of...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
Do you want to eat in a way that helps you reach your ideal weight, gives you boundless...
This course will provide you with the basic nutrition knowledge and practical tools...
Taste Buds is a resource that helps children aged 8 to 11 enjoy learning about the...
Fun, fast food for less. This is a practical six-week nutrition programme aimed at...
This course is aimed at pharmacists and aims to explain the science behind the different...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course will provide you with the basic knowledge to help you adopt a healthier and...
Your Work Ready dietitian will visit your organisation. They will ask what you want, see...
Cancer Focus NI, Keeping Well vans are mobile drop-in units which bring health checks,...
Are you often too tired to cook? Not organised enough to have breakfast and lunch sorted...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course would be of particular use to health professionals and students wanting to...
We will enrich your events with food demos, health and nutrition check-ups, competitions...
Here at Vital Nutrition, we work with schools all over Northern Ireland to help inspire...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
Vital Nutrition specialises in developing bespoke, tailor made nutritional programmes to...
This course provides caterers, food service providers and catering students with the...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
MediaWise is a FREE media literacy resource, designed by primary school teachers and...
Certified by the AfN. This course is for those who already have a basic knowledge of...
Cancer Focus NI can provide a wide range of presentations to meet the needs of your...
This course is aimed at practice nurses and aims to explain the science behind the...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course is about eating well and keeping healthy if you’re staying at home more since...
Your dietitian will look at any food and drink provision for staff including: canteen or...
The Quick Fit programme offers positive steps to improve your health through diet and...
Vital Nutrition’s Healthy Shift Workers workshop provides employees with a practical plan...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
This course will provide you with some information about sport and exercise nutrition –...
BDA will enrich your events with food demos, health and nutrition check-ups, competitions...
Vital Nutrition’s Jane McClenaghan is known for her down-to-earth, practical approach to...
We all have good and bad days but what and when we eat can influence our mood, energy,...
Fat is an essential nutrient in our diet but may often be thought about negatively and...
We will enrich your events with food demos, health and nutrition check-ups, competitions...
Vital Nutrition specialises in developing bespoke, tailor made nutritional programmes to...
Certified by the AfN. This course is for those with an interest in nutrition and would be...
Nutrition scanner
Develop healthier eating habits, be more active, and get on track to start losing weight...
Our free Easy Meals app is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You’ll...
Food diary, exercise tracker and diet coach
Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you are a healthy weight. Or, use it to check your child's BMI centile.