Getting started

  1. Identify the things you need to do to eat more healthfully (e.g. replace your afternoon chocolate bar with a banana, your late-night bag of chips with some almonds and a glass of soy milk).
  2. Start with small steps and try to change only one thing at a time.
  3. Plan ahead. Start with planning the main meal of the day for the next 2 or 3days.Work up to making a weekly menu. Make a list of the groceries you’ll need.
  4. Bring the list to the grocery store and have a snack before you go. Both will help keep you from making impulse purchases.
  5. Don’t purchase large packages of unhealthy foods that you can’t resist(e.g. the econo-bag of potato chips that always seems like a bargain).
  6. Read the nutrition information and ingredients on food packaging. Your dietitian can help you learn how to interpret the information.
  7. Focus on more unprocessed foods and whole grains. Over time, you might find you skip the grocery aisles filled with processed foods.
  8. Think about brushing up on your cooking skills. Crack open a recipe bookand start with the basics. Simple foods from natural ingredients are not only healthier and easier to cook, they are often cheaper.
  9. Carry healthy snacks. This will decrease the likelihood of needing fast food or junk food to curb sudden hunger.
  10. If you get paid once a month, stock up on foods like oats, peanut butter,canned fish, brown rice, pasta, canned lentils, black beans, baked beans, pea soup and frozen vegetables.
  11. No fridge or stove? There are many foods that are nutritious, keep well and don’t require a lot of cooking, including:Bread or bagels, peanut butter and nuts, cereal and granola bars, powdered milk, canned salmon, sardines and tuna, canned beans, vegetables and fruits, rice cakes and crackers, raisins, bananas and apples and nutrition drinks
  12. Find out about and use food programs in your neighbourhood.
  13. Join a community kitchen if there is one nearby. This is a good way to learn how to cook and save money on meals by sharing the cost. They also make meals more social, an important benefit of good nutrition.

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