Healthy Cooking…in the Grocery Aisle

Childhood obesity. It’s a phrase referenced in the media constantly. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years, and in 2010, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.1-2

These statistics, and the increase in public awareness of childhood obesity, make it more important than ever to take the time to teach kids how to cook healthy meals for themselves and their families. ShopRite supermarkets took matters into their own hands last month, emphasizing the role of their in-store dietitians.

ShopRite retail dietitians rolled out programming for Kids Cook Monday, a public health initiative begun by the non-profit Monday Campaigns. “The Kids Cook Monday program is a natural fit for what our dietitian team is already doing within the store, both in store and within their local communities. We believe that setting children up with healthy behaviors and skills provides them with them with a strong foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating,” said Melanie Dwornik, Wakefern’s retail dietitian supervisor, in a Supermarket News article.3

During the free, in-store events, retail dietitians convey their messages through interactive demonstrations and full cooking classes with a new recipe highlighted each month, helping kids and their parents learn how to prepare healthier meals. ShopRite plans to hold Kids Cook Monday events at least once a month in all stores, and the frequency in each store might vary depending on local demand.

As ShopRite continues their program, other retailers should take note!

1. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association 2012;307(5):483-490.
2. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2011: With Special Features on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Hyattsville, MD; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2012.
3. Liz Webber. Shoprite Dietitians Teach Kids Healthy Cooking. Accessed May 6, 2013. http://supermarketnews.com/health-amp-wellness/shoprite-dietitians-teach-kids-healthy-cooking

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