Healthy Shopping List on a Student Budget

I believe the true healthy eating is accomplished when it becomes the habit. To build the good habit, it is the best starting at early age. So I believe it is very important for children to be a part of meal preparation; not just healthy cooking, but also healthy shopping, and if possible, growing the food. This early ingraining of healthy habits really help to continue support the wellness even when they leave home — like university/collage time.

salad-dish-1366992-mFor students to eat healthy, they need to know how to cook, but also essentially what to buy in their budget! So here is a guide to help the students, but also can be for anyone, to have healthy food shopping according to own budgets!

This is also an honest, but helpful tips on “How to Eat Healthy” by York University Student on TED >> Click to watch the Video

General Guide:

  • Vegetables are your friends! It is low in cost and high in nutrients
  • Instead of buying frozen food or vegetables, freeze them by yourself (left over can be frozen in one portion, vegetables in season/ or on specials can be bought and steamed to freeze, berries can be freeze directly)
  • Check before heading to the cashier, do you have a colourful shopping basket? — Try to have at least 4 different colours in your shopping basket (green, yellow, red, and orange etc).
  • Whenever possible, chose organic, locally grown food in season especially for fruits, meat, and dairy. — Make a habit of  choose at least one item in organic etc.
  • Go to shopping when you are not hungry or with high cravings – This really helps not to choose fast, ready-made food, junk foods, or other unhealthy food
  • Read the ingredients: Buy the products with foods in ingredients. — “If you cannot pronounce the name of ingredients, then don’t buy them!”

Recommended Guide (underlined ones are especially budget friendly and high in nutrition):

Fresh Vegetables
Dark Green (Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Romaine, Collards etc)

Green (Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Green Bell Peppers, Asparagus, Avocado, Cabbage, Celery, Green Beans etc)
Dark Orange/Yellow (Butternut & Acorn Squash, Zucchini, Carrots, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes)
Red (Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Beets,)
Starchy (Potatoes, Corn)

Fruit
Fresh Whole Fruit (Apple, Orange, Pear, Banana, Grape, Pineapple, Mango, Papaya, Kiwi, Melon, Lemon etc)
Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries etc)

Grains
Whole Wheat Bread, Tortillas etc
Oatmeal
Brown Rice
Whole Wheat Pasta, Couscous
Millet – millet is much cheaper than quinoa, and you can substitute millet for most of quinoa recipe!

Protein
Fresh or Frozen meat
Bones, Organ Meat (Liver, Kidney etc) – learn how to make the gourmet pâté, bone soup etc, these are actually quite exciting food items!
Fresh or Canned Fish
Dairy – Eggs are especially versatile and budget friendly protein
Dried or Canned Beans & Lentils – recommend to cook dried beans in a large quantity,  and freeze them.

Healthy Fats & Oils
Nut Butter without sugar
Nuts & Seeds (Cashews, Pistachios, Walnuts, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds etc)
Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Butter – for cooling, for salad etc

Other
Fresh or dried herbs (you can also grow your own!)
Apple Cider Vinegar – if you have this and oil, no need of salad dressings!
Condiments: try to make your own as much as you can also read the label

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