Whenever I go to Costco, I try to do some shopping for organic items so my family can be as healthy as possible while staying on a realistic budget.
Because let's admit it...tennis, hockey, cheerleading and food can get freakin' expensive when you have a young, growing family.
36 Healthy Foods You Can Buy At Costco Right Now [BONUS]
There are so many food products packed with processed sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, which is why I stick to buying a lot of our grocery items from local farmer’s markets or organic products.
However, buying organic foods all the time can get expensive; these items are known for having a higher price tag than their cheaper alternatives.
I also feel it’s important to read the labels on anything I plan on consuming because genetically modified food ingredients can be present in others.
For example, cornstarch, canola oil, and other preservatives that are in many foods today are probably not something you want to be consuming on a daily basis.
Most of these items today are genetically modified and corn is the number one crop in the United States, and nearly all of it is genetically modified
As much as I love supporting local, and I do, the big box retailer is shaping up to be a real player of organic food in our city.
Today I take you on my journey of shopping at Costco so you can see just how it’s possible to buy affordable foods that are still healthy.
With all that in mind, here are 17 ideas for filling your shopping cart at Costco. If you have healthy favorites of your own, please share in the comments section below.
A Costco Shopping List of Healthy Products
I’m going to show you what I buy when I go to Costco and tell you a little about how these items can be used. These things are important to keep in mind because you can use them in your own unique way, or you can take my ideas.
These items are great because many of them can be eaten as a dinner meal, on their own as snacks, or even used as alternative additives to other dishes to keep them as healthy as possible.
All of these food items can be very flexible and everybody in my family loves them. I will provide some sample recipes on how I put these food items together later in this post.
Watermelon is a great snack to keep around because it’s healthy and kids love it. It's also great for your heart, bones and immune system.
We usually cut it up, put it in a bowl in the fridge and the kids grab a few pieces whenever they are hungry. For $6.99, it's a great price for an easy and healthy snack.
2. Lovin’ Life Arugula and Kale Organic Mix
Arugula and kale are essential for the human body because they contain vital nutrients that people need. Instead of using a traditional salad, this mixture can be used as a healthier alternative.
Remember to pair it with a healthy salad dressing, such as a Balsamic Vinaigrette. Keep reading as I share a delicious salad recipe we made with this mix.
3. Dave’s Killer Organic Bread: 21 Whole Grains And Seeds
We try not to eat a ton of bread as a family, however when we do, most of the time it is Dave's Killer Bread.
It is perfect for making sandwiches on, especially my open face Egg, Tomato and Avocado Sandwich.
It’s also one of the healthiest bread choices on the market today, besides making your own.
Jodi is our lunch maker...god love her and if she needs to make a quick sandwich for school lunches, she makes sure they have a sandwich made with Dave’s Killer Bread.
4. Almond Preference Organic Almond Milk (Vanilla)
We use this for cooking, for bowls of cereal, or a splash in your coffee.
It also still contains plenty of calcium and nutrients, so you won’t be missing out on anything that comes from regular milk. Make sure if you decide to buy any type of nut milk off the shelf, it does not have carrageenan. If you are feeling really energetic, you can make your own nut milk as well.
5. Kirkland Frozen Pineapple Chunks
We love pineapple in our smoothies, especially with Kale!
Another reason I personally like pineapple is because it works as an anti-inflammatory, helping to alleviate the pain of arthritis, along with similar conditions. Must be all those years of playing hockey, but I find eating pineapple almost acts like an Advil.
I also load up on the Pineapple when I feel like I might be coming down with a cold. Pineapples are rich in vitamin C and they naturally boost your immune system.
No, this is not organic, but pineapple is on the Clean 15 list, therefore, it is ok to eat if not organic. If you have never checked out the Dirty Dozen list, you should give that a read and try to buy organic items for those.
6. Organic Applesnax
These are the sauces that come in a squeezable pouch, so they are very easy to eat and don’t require using a spoon. It’s essential to put one of these in our kids’ lunch box each day.
As mentioned above, apples are on the dirty dozen, so even if you are buying apple sauce, it's a good idea to try and get organic.
7. Organic Aussie Bites
These are so good!!!
You need to be careful because you could easily eat the whole box in one sitting, which would ruin the health benefits of these. :-)
So, what are Aussie Bites? They are granola-like with a consistency close to a muffin. Loaded with rolled oats, apricots, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, quinoa and chia seeds.
8. Kirkland Organic Chicken Breasts
We don't eat a ton of meat as a family, however, we do eat chicken once or twice a week. If we didn't eat meat at all, the kids and Jodi would probably go a bit crazy. I could do it, but this is a compromise by us all. ;-)
Yes, organic meat is expensive, but if you haven't watched Food Inc., then you might not understand why we buy organic meat. Check it out.
8. Kashi Organic Promise Cinnamon Harvest Cereal
This is one of my kids’ favorites for breakfast, coupled with the vanilla almond milk.
Yes, this is food in a box, but when you are running out the door, I would prefer my kids eat this instead of Cheerios or Fruit Loops.
One negative about shopping at Costco is the bring in items that you love, then all the sudden they disappear forever. This may have just happened with this cereal
Can be used for making sandwiches better (see my egg, tomato, avocado sandwich), guacamole, or even snacked on by themselves.
Avocados are the new apple. Instead of eating an apple a day, you should be eating an avocado a day. While you are at it, you should combine the watermelon and avocado with this summer, salad recipe.
Another bonus, avocados are on the clean 15.
10. Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a much healthier alternative cooking oil. In fact, coconut oil has plenty of uses other than just for cooking; consuming a small amount is actually good for healthy gut bacteria.
It's even good for bad breath.
11. Kirkland Signature Que Pasa Organic Tortilla Chips
These are great for dipping in fresh guacamole or salsa.
Yes, we do eat chips and we love these!
12. Nature’s Intent Organic Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are great for the body and can easily be blended into a smoothie or added to a salad.
Chia seeds are a “whole grain” food, are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten. Bottom Line: Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.
13. Davia Organic Maple Syrup
We love adding this to our pancakes on the weekend. It's also delicious when you drizzle a bit of this on your morning oatmeal.
Maple syrup has numerous antioxidants and a great reason to switch to this as your sweetener.
14. Naturipe Organic Strawberries
Sometimes our Costco will carry fresh, organic fruits. When we see strawberries, we always grab a box.
Strawberries are a good source of many vitamins, minerals and plant compounds, some of which have powerful health benefits. They are on the dirty dozen, so make sure you buy organic when you do buy them.
What else is good about strawberries? They are delicious!!!
With a tennis player living in the house, we can never have enough bananas on hand. Nutritionists say that bananas have the highest amount of potassium, compared to any other commonly available fruit in the market.
The high potassium level gives you an energy boost and also prevents muscular cramps that might happen during extensive exercise.
Now you know why Milos Raonic eats bananas during his matches.
You can't beat the price when buying your bananas at Costco. Once again, you don't have to buy organic bananas because they are on the clean fifteen.
16. Leclerc Go Pure Organic Bars
This is another quick fix food item. If you are going to eat bars, you are better off eating something like this then some of the other non organic brands on the market. Most of those are candy bars in disguise.
These organic bars come in handy when we are traveling or attending hockey tournaments, tennis tournaments or cheer competitions.
They taste great too!
Another one of the clean fifteen. Our daughter loves these and eats them with the skin on.
They are great in smoothies as well and have a ton of nutritional value. Did you know kiwi provides 273% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in every one-cup serving – five times that of an orange and is a natural immune booster that staves off colds and flu.
The seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids
While there are plenty of other food items that I buy depending on the season, these are just some of the go-to items that are always on my list.
Why I Feed My Family This Way
People often ask me why I care so much about reading all of the ingredients on everything I buy, and the answer is simple:
I care about my health and the health of my family members.
So many people try to tell me that there’s no concrete evidence about what artificial sweeteners or preservatives do to someone’s body, and I tell them that that’s okay. I don’t want my family to be the guinea pigs for finding out what these things can do.
People lived just fine for thousands of years without these things in their food, and I simply choose to continue this practice as best as possible today. By reading everything and ensuring I am shopping smart, I can avoid any unnecessary health risks.
Healthy Salad Idea With Costco Items
After I buy all of our healthy food items, we then need to come up with meals that everyone will enjoy. You all know, it can be a bit of a challenge trying to cook for all the different taste buds in your family.
Also, making the same meals all the time usually gets boring and we do like a little variety, so we try to spice things up a bit (not literally, in most cases).
Strawberry Arugula Salad
A strawberry arugula salad is one of the best things we've prepared lately and it makes an amazing side with your dinner entree.
This recipe involves using the arugula and kale organic mix, strawberries, sliced almonds, gorgonzola cheese, avocado, and a poppy seed dressing.
4 handful Arugula
2 tbsp Almonds
2 oz Gorgonzola cheese
Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (see note)
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
This salad is great for the body and everybody loves it, including the kids.
Those who know what to look for can still eat the foods they enjoy without sacrificing their health for it. This just goes to show that you can still buy foods from Costco and prepare healthy tasty meals.
Mix this in with all the great food you get from your local farmer’s markets and you have some healthy food options for a great price.
What healthy foods do you buy from Costco for your family?