What’s Really in a Nutritionist’s Grocery Cart?

posted: 04/14/15
by: Jenni Grover
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What's in your cart?
Flickr Creative Commons/Caden Crawford

My family loves food. We love to cook, shop at farmer's markets, and eat delicious food. We like it all -- healthy foods, comfort foods, snack foods, and even a few sweets. As a registered dietitian, I can assure you I do not live on carrot sticks and hummus. I eat real food. I have kids who like "kid" food. So, yes, I do buy cheddar bunnies, root chips, and granola bars, but that is pretty much where I draw the line.

Many people wonder if dietitians practice what they preach -- meaning low fat, small portions, lots of fruits and veggies, etc. I can only tell you my experiences and share what we eat. One of the biggest reasons I became a dietitian is because of my love for food. I just happen to really enjoy healthy foods and truly believe in their healing properties.

I probably spend too much time at the grocery store. I tend to visit three different stores to get a variety of foods at the best prices. This may seem crazy to some, but we try to eatlocaland organicas much as possible. Because these foods can sometimes be more expensive, I shop around.

Sometimes I see clients in the grocery and I cannot help but glance in their carts. I am sure they are curious about mine as well. So here is an up close and personal look at what I have in my grocery cart.

Fruits and Veggies

These play a main role in my grocery cart. I always have salad fixings and veggies for dinner. I usually purchase a large bag of kale because my family is obsessed with kale chips. I also tend to have quite a few frozen fruits and veggies for quick snacks or sides for the kids. Fruit is also big in my house. I always buy apples, bananas, melon, and berries. I try to stay seasonal with my produce, whenever possible.

Grains and Beans

We try to make at least half of our grains whole grains. I have brown rice, pasta (some whole grain), quinoa, black beans, chickpeas, and pinto beans. I like to buy a few cans of beans to use in a pinch, but mostly use dried beans. I cook them in a pressure cooker and it only takes about 30 minutes. With dried beans I do not have to worry about theBPA in cans and can make the exact amount I need. I always have cooked beans on hand to toss in salads or give to the kids as snacks.

Nuts and Dried Fruit

I stock up on walnuts, which are high in Omega 3's, and almonds to toss in salads, baked goods, or eat as snacks. Also, my kids love dried fruit. I have dried mango and papaya and raisins in my cart. Dried fruits are high in vitamin C, phytochemicals, and fiber.

Meat and Dairy

We used to be vegetarian, but now eat meat a couple times a week. I buy local and organic meat and eggs usually from the farmer's market. It is best to buy meats without antibiotics and hormones, if possible. I also have wild caught fishin my cart. I always have organic milk, a few cheeses, cottage cheese, sour cream, and unsalted butter.


I have sliced whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, spelt English muffins, and everything bagels. I also have granola, Cheerios, and tortilla chips.


I almost always have guacamole, salsa, and hummus. We love our dips. I also buy a few bars of dark chocolate. I find it is easier to eat a few squares in moderation to tame cravings instead of sending my husband out for late night cake or ice cream.