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Health Promotions for Fall

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big_tree.jpgThere can be no doubt that the spotlight on health and wellness is growing, and it seems only to be growing stronger as the kids go back to school and the economic recovery strengthens a bit. Just in the last month there were headlines on the First Lady’s focus on healthier meals for kids (the school connection, again), the proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines and a renewed emphasis on food safety.

At the same time, our own customers here were asking more questions about nutrient-dense foods and locally grown and organic choices. Taking control of your health and your weight has become an ongoing mantra that’s hard to ignore.

Supermarkets and the food industry have responded with more programs and a wider variety of food choices. Registered dietitians are in the aisles answering questions and chefs are putting a focus on options with health in mind. So what are you doing to take it to your customers? Here are some ideas for starters:

• Offer taste tests of a featured fruit or vegetable each week. The theme can be seasonal (fall or tailgating parties), or related to how or where it was grown — just make sure to tie it to the nutrients in the item and do offer a simple preparation idea to go along with it.

• Join up with local health agencies for a food fair with a focus on health. Health screenings, food demonstrations, a store tour and mini classes can turn this idea into a community event that centers on the healthful choices in your supermarket.

• Coordinate some “healthy eating” tours of the store led by a registered dietitian. Reach out to local clubs, scouting organizations and schools, and invite them to make this an event for their members.

• Work with vendors to bring more recipes, samples, health notes and food ideas into the store, in full view of customers as they shop, to make it easier for them to find the health message and take action.

[Photo credit: Andrew Morrell]

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