Ahhhh good old Target! We definitely go there way more often than is necessary. You know you do too. 🙂
Target is not exactly the place I think of when I think “health food store”. However, if you take a good look, you can definitely find some healthier options. Their brand, Simply Balanced, makes it much easier. Many of the SB items are organic, which makes these healthy options easier on the wallet as well.
My Target is not a Super Target, so if you are a lucky duck and have access to a Super Target, you may have additional healthy finds. The items I have listed here are not all perfect choices and these are not the ONLY decently healthy finds here, but if Target is your usual grocery shopping spot, they could be really healthful changes if they work for you, your goals, and budget.
And for the record, Target has no idea I’m writing this, so there is zero affiliation here. I just chose Target for this post because not everyone has access to stores like Trader Joes or Whole Foods, or even farmers markets. This is a more common stop and maybe fits in to your budget a bit easier.
Chocolate cravings. Go with dark, which is full of antioxidants, preferably organic if you can. The higher the percentage of cocoa/cacoa, the darker the chocolate. I’ll often buy a bar like this, and have just a little square a few nights a week. It’s not something I dive into.
I honestly have never had these but came across them while perusing the section filled with snack bars. The ingredients looked really clean so I wanted to include them here because if your normal purchase is something like a sugary granola bar, this could really be a better choice.
Larabars are a staple here. Even my kids love them. They are made with no more than 9 ingredients, some as little as 3, mainly dates and some kind of nut. They’re great “real food” convenience/travel snacks.
Dried fruit can be a decent snack. Watch the labels though because many add extra sugar. I didn’t check every bag of the Simply Balanced brand but the ones I did check were straight fruit. Then the Made in Nature brand is the same way, with the extra bonus of being organic!
Just like the dried fruit, these fruit chips can have additional ingredients that are both unhealthy and unnecessary. Check your labels. (Just to be clear, when I say “check your labels”, I mean the ingredients list. I haven’t bothered to look at the numerical nutrition label in years. It’s all about the ingredients!) The ones I saw from this Bare brand were just plain fruit. Some might have some cinnamon, like the cinnamon apples, but no added sugars.
For the baby
Many wipes have weird ingredients, including alcohol which can sting a tiny bum in the event of a rash or even dry out skin. These wipes are made with water and fruit extracts. That’s it!
This is amazing for keeping a sick little one hydrated, which is incredibly important. Pedialyte is full of additives and dyes and unnecessary amounts of sugar. This organic drink has beneficial electrolytes.
There are plenty of squeeze pack brands out there that are organic. Check the label for ingredients like skim milk and fruit juice concentrate and avoid those if possible. *You can actually make these really easily! Check out Infantino brand. They offer disposable bags and this little contraption, called the Squeeze Station, for transferring the puree into the bag. We used it for a couple years with tons of success.
I like these Enjoy Life chocolate chips because they don’t contain soy lecithin like other brands.
Just coconut. No added junk.
Organic pumpkin, not from a BPA lined can. Even better.
In the Fridge
I’m not a huge lunchmeat fan. It’s all pretty processed, has a bunch of additional unhealthy stuff…but…if you’re going to buy it, I think a better brand is definitely worth investing in. Applegate is that.
I think animal products are definitely the place to really put that extra money into if you can. Ideally, raw full fat cows milk would be widely available, but honestly it’s not. It’s actually illegal in most states to sell raw milk at all. So it’s not something you’ll find in stores. If you can find organic milk from 100% grass-fed cows, that’s really awesome. (We drink Organic Valley Grass Milk here.) However, if regular organic milk is the healthiest milk you have access to, then by all means, go for it. And I absolutely recommend whole milk for the whole family.
I love that Target sells kombucha. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s a tasty fizzy drink that has fermented and now has tons of beneficial bacteria which are really important for supporting a healthy gut.
I’m not big on jelly. I just don’t see much benefit to it, but again, if you’re going to buy it…go for a better one. This one is not organic, but I do like that the first ingredient listed is strawberries, followed by honey. It’s not great…but still a little better.
Here’s another Applegate product. I do keep these in my house for lunch treats for the kids. The cows are 100% grass-fed, which always means a healthier cow, and that’s important to me.
Leafy greens are pretty heavily sprayed when it comes to pesticides so this is something I always try to get organic and Target thankfully provides that choice.
First of all, real butter. Always. Margarine is not doing anyone any favors. Get butter. Organic if you can.
Frozen organic vegetables. We do organic as much as possible here. Depending on how you’re planning to cook your veggies, frozen can be a really great choice without paying much more.
Wild caught salmon. This is another food that I refuse to deviate from…always try to get wild caught.
Frozen organic fruit is something you’ll always find in my freezer. They are perfect for smoothies. I tend to shy away from buying a bunch of produce for things like smoothies, because I go in waves with smoothie love. So having frozen fruit on hand can work with those waves without anything going to waste.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this at Target. Organic 100% grass fed beef. Awesome.
Tea is something that seems to be overlooked when it comes to clean eating. And in this sense, I’m talking about pesticides. A LOT of tea leaves are heavily sprayed and are likely not even washed before being packaged. Not to mention all the additional things like “natural flavors”, which are not natural, that are added in. I really like Traditional Medicinals brand. Most are organic without additional flavoring ingredients.
Organic spices by Simply Balanced. Spices are another one you have to wonder about the processing. Stick with organic if you can.
If you’re going to eat oatmeal, eat real oatmeal. There are other oats like steel-cut, but just start with plain oats and avoid the instant stuff.
Organic grains. I actually really love quinoa, because it’s so versatile and is a good source of protein. I love that Target offers these bags at an affordable price, especially the quinoa because it lasts forever.
Simply Balanced organic peanut butter.
Simply Balanced organic extra virgin olive oil. This is something you REALLY want to make sure to get one in a dark glass bottle. Those lights in supermarkets can oxidize the oils that are sitting on the shelves for weeks/months in clear plastic bottles. Even if you don’t get organic, definitely get the oil that has been protected in the dark glass bottle.
SB organic pure maple syrup. Pancake syrup is NOT maple syrup. It’s sugar and caramel coloring. Pure maple syrup is actually delicious.
A lot of people are super against bread, but if you eat it, go with a better brand. I recently came across this brand and the ingredients listed are pretty good. Not perfect. But if it’s between this and a brand containing a lot more preservatives and additives, go with this one. For sure.
For household products, I absolutely encourage you to do a little research about what you’re currently using in your home. Everything from air fresheners, to furniture polish, dish soap, glass cleaner, everything…it can all be found on ewg.org (Environmental Working Group). Most products I use in my own home are homemade with either Dr Bronner’s castile soap or Young Living products. However, if homemaking isn’t your thing, check out the Seventh Generation line to reduce chemicals in your home.
Ok so this turned out way longer than I anticipated. I hope it helped to shed some light on finding healthier/cleaner options at any regular store. You may not always have the perfect options, but if you do what you can, it’s a big step in the right direction.
In good health,