Navigating the Aisles for New Moms
Babies experience many firsts, and first solid foods are an important milestone in early development. With dietary guidelines for the birth to 24 months age group on the horizon, your role in helping shoppers understand and apply recommendations will become increasingly more important.
As a Supermarket RD, you’re able to meet new moms and dads where they are – in the grocery aisles – to help them with nutritional guidance and resources for their little ones.
Recent findings indicate there are three important characteristics when considering first foods: consistency, flavor and nutrient density. How can you help moms and dads seek out wholesome first foods with these ideal characteristics throughout your store? Try leveraging simple and nutritious “mashipe” ideas during an in-store ‘Mommy-Daddy Boot Camp."
Mommy-Daddy Boot Camp
Secure the timing and promotion for the Mommy-Daddy Boot Camp, and follow these three simple steps to ensure that moms and dads leave with a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate the aisles for the most nutritious foods to optimize the growth and development of their child.
- Make sure you visit credible websites to find child nutrition resources and handouts. Government websites, like the USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center, are a good place to start. Consider commodity board websites like Hass Avocado Board’s LoveOneToday.com; all commodity board communications must be reviewed and approved by the USDA so you can feel comfortable and confident with the information you find. Better yet, it’s free to use and distribute!
- Choose a recipe that makes a good demo. Avocados make a great base for all types of baby foods, as the neutral flavor and creamy consistency will not overpower the flavor and texture profile of a food mashed with it. You can find avocado ‘mashipe’ recipes at LoveOneToday.com/avocados-babies.
- Gather a variety of foods that have smooth consistency, flavor and a strong nutrition profile to show as examples for mashipes. Some examples include plain yogurt, precooked sweet potatoes, bananas, pears and canned beans. As a way to increase the ROI of your program, include cooking, serving and storage equipment you carry in your store that can be used as a part of the demo.
- Take a walk through the aisles to show moms and dads how to pick out first foods. Starting in the produce section, walk to the avocado display and show customers how to choose, ripen and store avocados (use this helpful resource as a guide, which can also double as a handout for your customers). After you spend time with the avocados, walk the aisles and point out all the different combinations and mashipes that can be made, along with the reasons why moms and dads should combine certain foods together.
- A no-cook demo following the tour is a great way to put words into action to show just how quick and easy it is for parents to create mashipes at home. Try mashing avocados with yogurt and sweet potatoes for a triple delight:
- First, show how to test the ripeness of the avocado by identifying a darker-colored avocado that yields to a light squeeze. Then, demonstrate how to open it by cutting the avocado lengthwise and scooping out the flesh into a bowl. See more here.
- Then, choose a no-sugar added, plain yogurt. Combine with the avocado in the bowl.
- Third, explain how to prepare the sweet potato for the mashipe. Start by piercing the sweet potato with a fork in multiple places. Then, advise to either microwave – noting that this is a safe and nutrient-saving method—or bake the sweet potato. Have an already cooked one ready, and slice and scoop out the flesh to combine with the avocado and yogurt.
- Lastly, simply mash the ingredients until you reach a smooth consistency appropriate for infants and toddlers. During this time, feel free to speak to the benefits of combining good fats (from avocados) with fat-soluble vitamins (from sweet potatoes) and the importance of including protein at each meal (from the yogurt).
- At the end of the tour and demo, have prepackaged baskets or bags available for purchase, filled with the various first foods that were identified throughout the aisles – a convenient and unique promotional tactic!
This Mommy-Daddy Boot Camp will not only help you amplify avocado sales, but will also help you showcase how avocados can mix and mash their way across the aisles, pairing with other nutritious foods to increase sales in multiple departments of the store.
To explore more reasons and ways to incorporate fresh avocados into the diets of little ones, visit LoveOneToday.com/avocados-babies. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.