The best way to fight against childhood obesity is to get the entire community involved. Whether you’re a mom teaching your kids healthy habits, a concerned little league coach, or a nutrition educator, you know that your efforts alone won’t turn the tide. Since this week is National Public Health Week, we thought we would share with you some ways to get your local grocery stores involved in the cause! Here is how they could help:
Donate Food – How do you work with children? Are you a troop leader for boy/girl scouts? Do you coach the soccer team? Do you have a homeschool group? Maybe once a month you could sample a different food during events. For a soccer team you could ask the store to donate different types of fruits (like kiwis or pineapple) for kids to munch on after a special game. Others might be able to schedule a monthly cooking class at your troop meeting where kids actually put together a recipe for a food they might not normally eat like homemade hummus, guacamole, or sweet potato fries.
Provide In-Store Food Tastings – During National Dairy Month (June), you could ask your local grocery store to bring small samples of non-fat Greek yogurt with honey and berries for the kids. Often the store will even provide coupons for kids to take home to parents. This is great public relations for them!
Host a school-wide taste test – See if a local grocery store would come to your school and set up a food tasting for the students. For example, serve a smoothie made with fresh fruits and vegetables! This would be a fantastic idea for when it is still hot outside as you can set up a smoothie station as the kids are returning from recess one day. Let them select which fruits/veggies they want in their smoothie. It will be a refreshing and healthy treat for them! Also, if your school has an OWG Foods of the Month (FoM) Kit, use the food calendar to schedule taste tests.
Incorporate the OWG Foods of the Month – Some stores already use the FoM Kit to highlight nutritious foods throughout their stores. We previously featured a Florida Keys Winn Dixie and how they are using the FoM materials in their store. In case you missed it, you can read that blog here.
Partnering in the community is always a win even though it takes more time and needs a well thought-out plan. Have you seen some success in building those partnerships? Let us know, we’d love to hear your story!