September celebrates National Fruits & Veggies Month, the perfect time to think about how we can add more plants to our plates every day. To get you started, here are some tips for creating smart shopping habits. It all starts by keeping this in mind: Every Time You Shop, Have A Plant®

Create A Colorful Cart

Prioritizing adding more plants to the shopping cart is a great starting point but aim to vary colors to optimize intake of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients in food come in all different colors—green, yellow-orange, red, blue-purple, and white. To promote good health, it is important to eat fruits and vegetables of varied color each day. Aim to include one to two of each color to your cart.

Check out this convenient list of fruits and veggies broken down by color!

Shop With The Seasons
Pick more fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season. Fruits and vegetables are harvested, or picked, at various times during the year. Becoming familiar with what is in season can help you pick the freshest produce and is a savvy shopping tactic.  The benefit to eating seasonal produce is that it is more likely grown in your local area, was harvested at the peak of ripeness and flavor, and are usually less expensive.

Stock Up On Staples
Create a routine of keeping produce staples stocked. Choose versatile picks that can be featured in a variety of dishes and require minimal planning and prep. What works for each household will vary but keep tracking of frequently purchased choices can help you stay cognizant of keeping them on hand.

Personal picks for fresh include apples, bananas, berries, bell peppers, celery, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and leafy greens.

Favorite plant picks for the pantry include canned beans, canned diced tomatoes, canned pineapple, frozen stir-fry veggies, frozen chopped broccoli, and frozen mixed berries.

Pick Time-Saving Solutions
Life gets hectic and if produce tends to slip from the plate when you are busy plan for time saving choices. Pick up prewashed lettuce and greens and precut fruits and vegetables. Shelf stable frozen and canned fruits and vegetables can also cut down on prep time and reduce food waste.

Prioritize Planning
Take time to plan a few meals and snacks featuring fruits and vegetables before you shop. Planning can help add more variety to meals and can take the stress out of what to make each day.  If you are looking to save money and be inspired for weekly planning, check out your stores weekly advertisement to see featured sale items. This can help jump start creating a list of items for the week.  By planning a list and grouping my food categories this can ensure you are prioritizing plant-based picks each week.

Make the most of National Fruits and Veggies month with these tips and remember every time you shop, have a plant!

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