• Allyson Balzuweit

15 things to buy at Trader Joe's



I've had a pretty long hiatus from shopping at Trader Joe's. It's just far enough off the beaten path to not be part of my regular grocery shopping routine and the pandemic most definitely took it off my radar. Thanks to a few pediatrician appointments, which is right around the corner, I loaded up on some of our favorites and also explored some new offerings, so I thought it would be fun to share 15 items that get a dietitian's thumbs up and explain why! Let's face it - labels are tricky and confusing, and sometimes you just want to hear a "yay" or "nay" when trying to discern which products deserve a spot in your cart.

1. Pre-washed and chopped Tuscan Kale: You can never go wrong with a bag of pre-washed greens, and you typically don't find this type of kale in this format. It's perfect for a quick saute on the stove, or in soups, stir fries and smoothies.

2. Kumato tomatoes: These juicy brownish-red tomatoes are a great option in the cooler months when conventional tomatoes tend to be dry and tasteless. They're a great addition to salads and sandwiches, and would pair nicely with burrata or fresh mozzarella in a caprese salad.

3. Steamed lentils: I'm not a huge fan of lentils, but love the idea of these already cooked, vacuum sealed legumes that can be a quick source of protein and fiber on salads, or mixed with rice, vegetables and a flavorful sauce.

4. Barbara's Puffins cereal: With a short list of ingredients, 5 grams of fiber and just 6 grams of added sugar, this cereal is a win. It's also less pricey at TJ's compared to other grocery stores.

5. Mixed nut butter: This combo of a variety of nuts (no peanuts) is a nice change of pace from other nut butters. Pair with fruit, whole grain toast or drizzle onto oatmeal or greek yogurt for some extra flavor and healthy fat.

6. Whole wheat fusilli: This one-ingredient pasta gets a thumbs up for taste, texture and fiber content. We always mix things up with different types of pastas, but a solid whole wheat option is always good to keep on hand.

7. Organic tomato basil marinara: Meets the criteria for a no added sugar sauce. While there's a little bit of soybean oil that I would normally avoid in a salad dressing or high fat condiments, it's not enough to worry about in this case.

8. Wild smoked salmon: A quick source of protein and healthy fat to use on salads, in omelettes, breakfast sandwiches or even pasta!

9. Peanut butter filled pretzels: Nothing else to say. If you know, you know!

10. Seaweed snacks: Another nutrient-rich, tasty snack that's also portable.

11. 10 minute Farro: Pre-cooked Farro is finished off more quickly for a fast weeknight meal.

12. Spinach and kale greek yogurt dip: The addition of greek yogurt bumps up the protein content and lowers the fat from mayo. Makes a great dip for veggies and crackers.

13. Mushroom Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning: A savory seasoning that pairs well with just about anything!

14. Frozen brown rice: Always a good idea to keep in the freezer for a busy weeknight meal. Even though I try to batch cook rice and freeze, this is a great back up plan.

15. Frozen pre-cooked edamame pods: These are lightly salted and since they're already cooked, they just need a quick zap in the microwave and are a solid source of protein and fiber.


The list doesn't end here! There are so many great finds at Trader Joe's, but there can also be some tricky choices that seem healthy yet would be better to pass by. I'd love to help you sort through your favorite finds at your store of choice! Let's connect for a free 15 minute call!