(BPT) – It’s important the food your family eats is delicious, nutritious and provides the energy everyone needs to tackle the day. But the best meals are those that are healthy for both your family and the Earth. Plus, it doesn’t take a ton of effort to make your meals at home more earth-friendly. Start with these four simple tips:
1. Make a plan and be prepared – The grocery store is an easy place to increase your earth-friendly habits in several ways. First, spend a little time on the weekend to make a meal plan, then set your shopping list and stick to it at the store. Having a plan for the week’s meals helps prevent food waste by buying only what you need; sticking to your shopping list helps the budget and ensures you won’t impulsively buy less healthy temptations. Don’t forget to take along earth-friendly reusable grocery bags to transport your groceries home.
2. Choose organic – Organic food contains no artificial ingredients or toxic pesticides, so what you’re feeding your family is wholesome, real food. You can also feel good about the fact that organic farmers don’t use synthetic fertilizers or other dangerous chemicals, which is better for soil, water and the long-term health of our environment.
3. Buy with versatility in mind – Buying fruits, veggies and other foods that can play many different roles and perform “double duty” not only is earth-friendly, but it is also healthier and less expensive. For example, adding handfuls of fresh, pre-washed organic baby greens to smoothies, salads and meals from breakfast to dinner is an easy way to minimize your food waste, reduce your food bill and get your recommended seven daily servings of fruits and veggies. In addition to baby greens, spinach, kale and cauliflower are extremely versatile and can play many different roles in a meal or snack.
After you’ve eaten all the tasty organic salad, an added earth-friendly bonus is that Earthbound Farm’s containers are perfect to reuse as a windowsill garden. They make great starter planters for baby lettuces and other plants, indoors and out.
4. Fill your freezer, eat healthier (and save energy too) – Internationally renowned registered dietitian, Ashley Koff, loves to stock up on organic frozen fruit and veggies. With organic options ready to go from your freezer, she says, “you can ‘MacGyver up’ an easy, healthy meal anytime,” even if you’re late coming home and haven’t been to the store. Energy-savings plus: your freezer runs most efficiently when it’s full. So keeping it stocked with healthy frozen foods (and homemade meals, too) uses less energy and helps you eat healthier, too.
For more useful tips, or if you want to know how earth-friendly your current grocery shopping habits are, take the online quiz, “How Green is Your Cart,” created by Earthbound Farm. Thirty years ago, Earthbound started as a backyard garden, and is now a leading organic food company bringing the benefits of fresh, flavorful and healthy organic foods to as many people as possible. As part of its third-annual “Every Cart Counts” campaign, 1,000 grocery shoppers across the nation will be rewarded with free groceries during the month of April simply for having earth-friendly products in their carts.
It takes only a few small steps for a family to make their meals healthier, and those small, earth-friendly choices can add up to real, positive change.