I am a Nutritionist for the Georgia Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program and I am currently in the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) Dietetic Internship.
I remember the first year I celebrated Food Day. I was a student at Georgia State University. My student organization, the Nutrition Student Network, and I hosted a viewing of the film Food Inc.
We discussed supporting sustainable farms and promoting consumption of real foods that are fresh and locally grown. Students also took pictures holding signs declaring the real foods they enjoyed eating. (In college, I enjoyed making smoothies from fresh fruits and vegetables.)
For Food Day 2015, fellow GDPH interns and I conducted grocery shopping tours with participants from various programs. Therefore, some tours were tailored for particular audiences. For example, some interns taught WIC participants how to use their WIC benefits at the grocery store.
I think grocery shopping tours are an excellent way to celebrate Food Day and to support Food Day priorities such as promoting safer and healthier diets.
The overall benefit of a grocery tour is to teach shoppers how to select healthy foods and save on food cost. It can be a challenge navigating the grocery store and knowing which foods to select.
To help purchase healthy foods on a budget, a grocery tour will teach shoppers to:
- -Buy items from each food group in order to support a balanced diet.
- -Compare the cost of fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables. One form of the produce may be cheaper than another. For instance, frozen strawberries may be cheaper than fresh strawberries at a particular time.
- -Select dairy products low in fat such as skim or 1% milk.
- -Read the nutrition label and select beverages with the least amount of sugar.
- -Look at the ingredient list to select food items that are whole grain. The whole grain ingredient should be named first on the list.
- -Compare the prices and sizes of a product. Hence, most times it is cheaper to purchase in bulk.
I encourage adding a grocery tour to your Food Day celebration activities. You will be helping to give shoppers valuable skills. For more information on grocery tours, visit the website https://www.nokidhungry.org/tags/shopping-matters.