Buy This, Not That! 3 items to change today!

The idea for this post is inspired by my sister who’s a busy mom of 3 and wants to eat healthy, but doesn’t always have time to read up on the choices.  As a result, she’ll text me, “I’m at the store.  What bread should I buy?” (insert any food item for bread).  And, because when I’m at the store I love reading ingredient labels and taking pictures of the “good” and the “bad” (I know – weird -and apparently very embarrassing for my kids), I usually have a handy picture on my phone that I can text back to her showing which item she should buy.

So, here are 3 easy switches to make next time you’re at the supermarket. (My kids love cereal for breakfast and pb&j’s for lunch, so these are biggies in our house.)

 

final cereal

I found this cereal at Trader Joe’s and my kids LOVE IT! It only has 2 ingredients: puffed wheat, organic agave syrup. Compare to a supposedly “healthy” cereal like Fiber One which is loaded with sugar (3rd ingredient!), corn syrup and preservatives – definitely not the best way to start a day.

final pb

I was nervous about making the switch to natural peanut butter, but didn’t need to be. My kids didn’t even notice! Although I’m sure they’d taste a difference now if they tasted the fake stuff. The only ingredients necessary for peanut butter are – peanuts! And, in my opinion, salt which I think makes a big difference in taste. Just look at this Skippy peanut butter – right in between the peanuts and salt they’ve added sugar (2nd ingredient!) and hydrogenated vegetable oils (which is code for “trans fat” – the worst fat out there.) Yuck!

final jelly

Can’t have a pb&j without the “j”! When we first started eating real food I started making peanut butter and honey sandwiches and those were a big hit – for a while. My youngest still prefers them, but the other 3 wanted jelly like their friends at school. I’ve tried “All Fruit” and this “Super Fruit” spread that I found at Trader Joe’s and they’re all delicious. Fruit is naturally sweet, so it just makes sense to use fruit juice to sweeten the spread. I also like that the Trader Joe version is made with organic fruit. Compare this to the “regular” jelly which has for it’s 2nd and 3rd ingredient high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup.  Not hard to see the better choice.

Next time you’re at the supermarket, remember to read those labels (and email me pictures of them! seriously – I love this stuff).  And remember that ingredients are listed in order of quantity, so if something is listed is at the top that means it’s a main ingredient.

What “Buy This, Not That” suggestions do you have?  Leave them in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Buy This, Not That! 3 items to change today!

  1. For the past 4 years, I’ve been making all of our jam for the year, starting in the late spring/early summer. I use a low-sugar recipe (and don’t use refined sugar; it works out to about 1/8 cup of sugar per 8 oz. jar of jam), but there are also no-sugar recipes too! Where you live, you probably have access to some great local fruit, which would likely be sweet enough to use in that way. Making jam is easy, just takes a bit of time, and a couple of specialty items to help you along. I’ve made blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, and peach jams, as well as peach butter and pear butter, which have no added sugar. Let me know if you’re interested in learning more, these also make great holiday or hostess gifts :-) Loving the blog! xoxo Amy

    1. Thanks Amy! I’d love it if you’d share a couple recipes (either in the comments, or email me). It sounds like a fun activity to do with the kids and I’ve been wanting to make my own jam and butter. What do you use to replace the refined sugar?

      1. I use a particular website, called pickyourown.org. Her instructions are long and detailed, which is great when you’re starting out. She covers every kind of fruit or combination of fruit you can think of, and details how to make it into lovely jam. I’ve found that you can use more natural sugars that have a 1:1 ratio with refined sugar; you can use honey I believe; and if the fruit is ripe and sweet enough, there are ways to make it without added sugar (and I’ve heard, though I’ve never tried, that you can also do it without using pectin). Since we’re in the desert, we are limited in what fruits are truly available locally, so I then look for organic fruit that’s in season, and coming from – for us – relatively nearby, which can mean northern Mexico, California, and Oregon. Check out the website, and let me know if you have any other questions. The tools I’ve spent money on, and they’ve paid for themselves over and over are: jar lifters, a funnel, a large enamel pot for canning (heat sealing the jam jars), and last year, I spent a little money on a special pot that is narrower at the bottom and wider at the top for cooking the jam itself – and it made a world of difference, so much easier as it has a handle, a pour spout, and the design helps keep it from scorching on the bottom. Almost everything you need can be found at places like Ace Hardware. I can’t wait to hear how it goes! We’re finishing up last years’ jars, with a few to give to the teachers next week when school ends, so next month I’ll start again with blueberry and strawberry :)

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