by Sylvia Geiger MS, RD, CD, Price Chopper Community Nutritionist
Did your pantry get cluttered over the winter? If so, it’s time to weed out those half-eaten boxes and freshen up your shelves with some lighter and healthier ingredients to power you through spring cleaning, gardening and yard work!
I always get a burst of energy when spring arrives and start weeding through my pantry. This year, I’m using the NuVal shelf-tag scoring system to find more nutrient-rich ingredients. Here are some simple tips for stocking your shelves with delicious wholesome ingredients:
- Use the NuVal shelf tag score to trade up for health; the higher the NuVal score the better the nutrition. When you’re shopping, take a moment to compare the NuVal scores of foods sitting side-by-side on the shelf. You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to find a food with a higher score.
- Look for cereals that score above the average NuVal cereal score of 27. Great choices include Oatmeal (59) Cheerios (37) Wheat Chex (91). Not ready for those? Then simply put a higher scoring cereal in your cart.
- Try whole grain pastas (89-91), brown rice (82), whole wheat cous-cous (57) or even quinoa (91). Whole grains have fiber which slows down digestion to keep you fuller for longer and the germ kernel adds a mild flavor.
- Look for canned vegetables and soups that are lower in sodium or have no added salt. Use NuVal scores to guide you to the healthiest selections.
- Choose a healthy cooking oil such as olive oil (11-17) or Canola oil (23).
- Look for breads and wraps that list whole grain or whole wheat as the first ingredient.
- Choose the best ingredients with our Guide to Stocking a Healthy Pantry.
Here’s our Healthy Meal of the Week! All main ingredients are on sale and NuVal scores are in parentheses.
For your main course, choose either:
Chili Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon (Tilapia 82)
With your favorite fresh or frozen vegetable or Lemon Lovers Asparagus (100)!
Try a different grain! How about Quinoa (91) or Whole Wheat Cous-Cous or Brown Rice Pilaf (82)?
Add a fresh fruit cup: Blackberries (96) Raspberries (98), Navel Oranges (100), Mangos (93) and Mini-Watermelons are all on sale!
Want to bake a dessert? Then give this recipe for Mixed Berry Almond Gratin a try!
Remember to use the NuVal system to help make healthy choices this spring!