Getting Kids to Eat Healthier in the Supermarket Year Round

Getting Kids to Eat Healthier in the Supermarket Year Round

July 8, 2015

Still curious about how to attract more parents and kids to healthier foods after last week’s article on kids programs at retail? RDs are in an excellent position to facilitate behavior change, as what better place to teach nutrition is there than the aisles of the supermarket? It’s the one place that education can happen in tandem with purchase decisions. 

Here are a few more highlights from retail RD led kids programs across the country. Keep in mind these programs aren’t solely for summer, but can happen year round. 

- ShopRite. After School Kids Day events at the Jubilee Center of Hoboken. A community site ShopRite RD, Jenna Stock has worked with this program monthly since June 2013. "This was one of my favorite kids’ day events and not to mention my favorite Kids Day recipe," says Jenna. "In the class I had students who claimed to hate all vegetables and really hated the idea of adding beans into guacamole. They were all grossed out by the idea that guacamole had extra vegetables in it! Well, with the help of a fun little "mallet" to mash the beans with, lots of things to chop to keep everyone busy and lots of colors to add into the bowl, we made the amazing guacamole hummus that ALL of the kids loved!... It is so rewarding to be able to not only introduce kids to vegetables and better for you items, but to watch them have fun while creating and eating, there is truly nothing better! This day was one of my proudest retail RD moments!"

- Hy-Vee. Kimberly L. Proctor, RD LD. Hy-Vee One Step Gardens are community gardens where children get to experience garden produce from seed to table. Some stores have on-site gardens, and others partner with schools or community groups. Hy-Vee is able to support these gardens with grants through the sale of Hy-Vee One Step potatoes. In 2104, Hy-Vee provided grants for 240 community gardens. Incorporating gardening into Hy-Vee’s traditional kids’ cooking classes was the brainchild of Megan Dalsing, a Hy-Vee dietitian in Dubuque, Iowa. 

Kimberly’s group of 12 kids, ages four to 11 have a weekly plan, which includes weather observations, measuring the growth of a green bean sprout, as well as weeding, watering and harvesting. Kimberly then demonstrates a recipe and leads the group in preparing it themselves. 

A little boy, about four years old who was not a big veggie eater enrolled in the program. With a surplus of Swiss chard, Kimberly decided to blend it into a green smoothie with pineapple, yogurt and avocado. It was a lovely light green color, and this little guy just loved it! She sent some of the extra home with his family.  The next week, his mom reported that Swiss chard is now his favorite word, and he walks around singing, “Swiss chard, Swiss chard, Swiss chard” to the delight of his parents who whip up green smoothies on a regular basis!