Providing healthy food choices for your family is no easy task. Everywhere you look, there are advertisements for mouthwatering meals and sugary snacks that are anything but healthy. It can be difficult to stick to a healthy diet when less healthy options are so abundant and easily accessible. The following article provides many great ideas to make healthy eating and shopping easier for you and your family by using your commissary.
In an effort to close the gap between convenient, unhealthy options and healthy food choices, the Defense Commissary Agency website offers shopping tips and recipes that are a great addition to your healthy lifestyle. With all of the website's features, including customizable shopping lists, seasonal and practical recipes and health and diet information from the experts, a healthy diet is just as attainable as those quick drive-through dinners. Here are some suggestions for smart shopping:
- Purchase in-season fruit for sweetness. In-season fruit can replace those bags of cookies and lead to healthier snacking for your family.
- Use the DeCA website to learn more about health and diet information. Learn which foods are nutrient-rich and which foods are full of empty calories. This is a great start to creating healthy habits for your entire family.
- Use DeCA's shopping list feature. This allows you to create your grocery list based on what is available at your installation's commissary. Simply find your installation in the dropdown box and select the search criteria to check for item availability or add it to your list. If you're looking for a specific item brand, use the search tool to see all of the options available in that category.
- Use DeCA's savings aisle feature to view your commissary's weekly specials. Purchasing the healthy items on your list while they're on sale can be kind to your body and your wallet.
To enhance your shopping experience, DeCA offers nutritional tips online and in the store. These recommendations are based on the nutritional information from ChooseMyPlate.gov. Review these diet guidelines before you head to your commissary, and keep your eyes peeled while you're shopping for reminders scattered around the store. Some nutritional suggestions include:
- Focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fat-free or low-fat dairy options.
- Choose lean meats, poultry, eggs and fish and alternative proteins, like beans and nuts.
- Select foods free of trans fats and foods with low amounts of saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.
While you may already count on your installation's commissary for budget friendly groceries, the Healthy Living tab on the DeCA website can help you ensure your food choices are not only cost effective, but they also contribute to your overall health. Explore the health information, including videos, data and articles about diet and exercise, to enhance your commissary experience as well as your family's health.
You have read the health recommendations and purchased healthy choices from your shopping list. However, how do you turn those food items into tasty meals for your family? The DeCA website can help you take the healthy ingredients from the shelves of the commissary all the way to your kitchen table.
- Use DeCA's recipe feature. Visit the Kay's Kitchen Recipe Collection for recipes that fit your lifestyle and palette. Kay Blakely has you covered for everything from how to pick out the best produce to preparing an impressive dinner spread. Kay's recipe index includes everything from appetizers to desserts, and since Kay is a busy wife and mother, her recipes won't have you in the kitchen all day. Instead, she focuses on budget-friendly, in-season foods available at most commissaries that can be prepared without too much fuss.
- Check out Kay's Cooking Tips. Her cooking tips can also help you improve your skills in the kitchen and ensure that you're following food safety guidelines as you prepare your family's snacks and meals.
- Email Kay. If you have a specific question that can't be answered by reading through Kay's cooking tips, you can email her directly through the contact feature.
While it may be impossible to eliminate those unhealthy temptations completely, DeCA can give you the tools you need to make healthy choices for your family. Easy access to shopping tools, discounts, health information and recipes makes a healthy lifestyle within reach. Begin your journey toward improved health with your next visit to your installation's commissary!