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Nutrition Tips: A Healthy Shopping Strategy

Dr. Robert Melillo

Beginning new food habits and healthier eating is a process that can be overwhelming at times especially when it comes to learning to navigate food labels and shopping for the right brain-healthy foods. To make family meals healthier, follow these food shopping guidelines.

  • Spend the most time in the produce section, the first and largest area you encounter in most supermarkets. Choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables to reflect a variety of vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content.
  • Go organic on everything! Though it costs more, avoiding pesticides is imperative when dealing with a child with a compromised immune system, an under developed gut, and other issues that are part of having a brain imbalance.
  • Choose grains that are the least processed and steer clear of anything containing gluten. Buy whole grains containing at least 4 grams of fiber per serving. The less sugar the better.
  • Go for nondairy calcium fortified alternatives to milk, such as rice, coconut, almond, or other nut milks.
  • When it comes to meat, fish, and poultry, the American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish a week. Buy only wild-caught fish, as farm-raised fish have higher levels of toxins that can affect the brain. Salmon is a great choice!
  • Remember that frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce are a convenient way to help fill in the produce gap, especially in winter.

Learn more about building a healthy relationship with food and healthy eating behaviors that can help children with neurobehavioral disorders like autism, ADHD and other conditions in my book “The Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan.”