March is National Nutrition Month
so what better way to focus on this than to share some of my produce planning strategies!
Like many of you, I have the best intentions when buying a lot of produce to eat throughout the week. Then the week goes by and there is produce that hasn’t been eating or gone bad. In this case, my fridge used to have a “crisper” drawer, but sometimes we could call it the “rotter” drawer!
After many weeks (and even years) of wasted produce, I have realized that the best strategy for your nutrition, wallet, and fridge is to plan your produce. This is a strategy that I have tried to get better at especially throughout the last few years.
Am I perfect at it and eat EVERY single piece of produce I buy? Definitely not, but planning out my produce for the week instead of just buying items during a shopping trip has really helped.
Here are a few produce planning strategies that I strive for:
Fresh produce for early in the week, and hearty fruits and veggies (or frozen) for later in the week.
We try to prep and eat all of the fruits and veggies that are more likely to spoil for earlier in the week, then plan to have other options like sweet potatoes, melon, pineapple, apples, frozen vegetables, etc. for later in the week.
Prep items like berries or grapes within one day after my shopping trip.
This helps me accomplish strategy number one by eating my quicker spoiling produce first because let’s face it, that box of strawberries won’t get eaten unless I get prepping it!
Prep my veggies the night before.
Mornings can get very hectic so do yourself a favor and prep your veggies the night before.
Have a few favorite dips.
Some dip options that I like are hummus or yogurt ranch dressing
for my veggies, and vanilla Greek yogurt
for my fruit.
Keep on-the-go options ready for the whole family.
We always keep options like apples, oranges, clementines, baby carrots, snap peas, etc. on hand so we have healthy options ready to go. We also keep fruit cups packaged with 100% juice and unsweetened applesauce in our pantry as an alternative if needed.
Always keep frozen (or some canned) options on-hand.
This way you aren’t scrambling with produce decisions later in the week or on the weekends.
These are just a few strategies that have helped me stay on track with eating the produce I purchase. No one likes wasting money and I can say that by using these strategies more regularly, I am not as wasteful with my produce or money! Give a few of these strategies a try and maybe your “rotter” drawer we change back to the “crisper” drawer.