Are you curious about what actually happens on an interactive grocery store tour? Many people are unsure what to expect if they tour a grocery store with a nutritionist. Wonder no more – here is what you can expect on a grocery store tour with N.E.W. Motivation Coaching.
A grocery store is an excellent resource for learning about food and food marketing in general, discovering which foods and products will work best for you and your family, and getting answers to your health and food questions.
In short, it is the best place to learn which foods can help you with your food goals because you have direct access to all the foods!
Expect a Mini Nutrition Education Class
Spend the first 15-20 minutes in a mini-class where you will learn the big-picture guidelines about the nutrition or health topic, how to read food labels, and what to look for on food packaging. You also get recommendations from 1-3 different agencies that make dietary recommendations so you can decide which guidelines fit your goals and food preferences the best.
Examples of tour topics include:
- Heart Healthy Proteins
- Healthy Grab-and-Go Grocery Store Meals
- Fat, Sugar, and Salt
- Keto Dieting – All about Dietary Fats
- Low Carb Diets – Focus on Healthy Proteins & Fats
Expect to Walk the Store
This is where the fun really begins! After the mini nutrition education class, you will put on your (imaginary) detective hat, go into the store, and put our hands on food packages. You get to put what you just learned into action to make better-for-you food choices.
You can go to the foods and brands you typically choose to take a good look at the packaging and compare it to other options. While brands may be recommended by your nutritionist based on your food preferences, budget, and health goals, you will not get any blanket brand recommendations during these tours. No kickbacks or bias here!
You will check out the package claims, nutrition facts, and ingredients to ensure the foods you choose fit into your food guidelines, you may learn about some hard-to-pronounce ingredients including what they are made of and how safe – or not – they are, and you may pick up some new tricks and tips to get the most out of your food choices. You also learn a little about how grocery store layout and food packaging can affect your buying choices without you even realizing it.
Expect Each Tour to be Different
Each tour has a focus but your questions determine where we go in the store and which foods we investigate.
Aisle by aisle, the nutritionist will help you make better food choices by pointing out marketing strategies and misleading packaging, showing you resources in the store that you probably haven’t ever noticed, introducing new foods and ingredients, and answering your food and nutrition questions.
Expect to Get Goodies
You always receive recipes related to the tour topic. You may also get samples of foods or coupons or other goodies like fabric grocery bags or shopping lists.
Expect to Become Empowered about Food
By the end of the tour, the confusion and anxiety around which foods to put in your grocery cart with will have been whisked away by the experience and insight you gained from having a dietitian at your side in the store.
You will walk away empowered knowing you can choose healthier-for-you foods on your very next shopping trip. After this fun and interactive experience, you will be so much closer to knowing exactly how use food and nutrition to reach your health goals. You will also be well prepared to handle life’s curveballs because you know how to critically evaluate food packaging – instead of just getting brand recommendations. You will now have the skills to change your food choices as your health, needs and schedule changes.
In short, you will become an bonafide food label detective.
This is a guest blog by Vanessa Tarbell, University of North Florida Undergraduate Nutrition Student.