Freshen Up Your Pantry with NuVal!

by Sylvia Geiger MS, RD, CD, Price Chopper Community Nutritionist

Did your pantry get cluttered over the winter? If so, it’s time to weed out those half-eaten boxes and freshen up your shelves with some lighter and healthier ingredients to power you through spring cleaning, gardening and yard work!

I always get a burst of energy when spring arrives and start weeding through my pantry. This year, I’m using the NuVal shelf-tag scoring system to find more nutrient-rich ingredients. Here are some simple tips for stocking your shelves with delicious wholesome ingredients: 

  1. Use the NuVal shelf tag score to trade up for health; the higher the NuVal score the better the nutrition. When you’re shopping, take a moment to compare the NuVal scores of foods sitting side-by-side on the shelf.  You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to find a food with a higher score.
  2. Look for cereals that score above the average NuVal cereal score of 27. Great choices include Oatmeal (59) Cheerios (37) Wheat Chex (91). Not ready for those? Then simply put a higher scoring cereal in your cart.
  3. Try whole grain pastas (89-91), brown rice (82), whole wheat cous-cous (57) or even quinoa (91). Whole grains have fiber which slows down digestion to keep you fuller for longer and the germ kernel adds a mild flavor.
  4. Look for canned vegetables and soups that are lower in sodium or have no added salt.  Use NuVal scores to guide you to the healthiest selections.
  5. Choose a healthy cooking oil such as olive oil (11-17) or Canola oil (23).
  6. Look for breads and wraps that list whole grain or whole wheat as the first ingredient.   
  7. Choose the best ingredients with our Guide to Stocking a Healthy Pantry.

Here’s our Healthy Meal of the Week! All main ingredients are on sale and NuVal scores are in parentheses.

For your main course, choose either:

London Broil with Balsamic Vinegar (34)



Chili Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon (Tilapia 82)

With your favorite fresh or frozen vegetable or Lemon Lovers Asparagus (100)! 

 Try a different grain! How about Quinoa (91) or Whole Wheat Cous-Cous or Brown Rice Pilaf (82)?

Add a fresh fruit cup: Blackberries (96) Raspberries (98), Navel Oranges (100), Mangos (93) and Mini-Watermelons are all on sale!

 Want to bake a dessert? Then give this recipe for Mixed Berry Almond Gratin a try!

Remember to use the NuVal system to help make healthy choices this spring!

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