Rebecca Morley, MA, CLC, with the Missoula City-County Health Department, has created a unique program aimed at improving the health and nutrition knowledge for its citizens. Under the umbrella of the Eat Smart Missoula Program, Supermarket Tours are used as a valuable tool to teach families and individuals how to shop for and prepare healthy food on a limited budget. These classes are done in a classroom setting with power-point and displays or in the local grocery stores with smaller groups. Rebecca has done tours at the University level, in classrooms from k-12, with scouts, church groups, senior citizens, WIC clients, parent groups, new moms, and worksites. The list is endless!
“Participants always tremendously enjoy the experience. I emphasize avoiding highly processed food and share the reasons why. Label reading is an important component and we share simple preparation techniques for more unusual foods or when participants ask how to incorporate certain foods in their diet. I find many are excited to share their food stories and are truly interested in making healthier choices. They are astounded by the amount of sugar, fat, salt and preservatives on many common items on the grocery shelf.” – Rebecca Morley, MA, CLC
Did you know that the average grocery store has over 30,000 food choices? Discover how to choose healthy, tasty foods that won’t break your budget. By participating in an Eat Smart Shop Smart tour, you’ll learn to:
- Read and understand nutrition information on food labels.
- Identify meaningful health claims.
- Shop to prevent or manage health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.
- Find the healthiest food choices in every section of the store – from breads to frozen dinners.
Tips for starting Supermarket Tours in your area:
- For on-site Supermarket Tours, especially for new community programs across the state, Rebecca recommends using COOKING MATTERS (Share Our Strength standard curriculum). Families on a tight budget report that the cost of healthy groceries is their biggest barrier to making healthy meals at home. Food skills, like smart shopping, can help overcome that barrier. Cooking Matters at the Store is a free program of the No Kid Hungry campaign that empowers families to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home. http://cookingmatters.org/at-the-store
- When leading on-site supermarket tours with adults, ask the store to donate $10.00 gift certificates and at the end of the tour, challenge shoppers to use this money to buy a healthy meal for a family of 4. (This meal can be breakfast, lunch or dinner). For children, encourage the group to provide a small sum of money for each child to purchase their own healthy snack.
- Plan ahead, engage the audience with interaction, and ask for participant in-put.
- If leading a tour, it is best to pre-schedule a larger group to compensate for no-shows.
- Include all age groups from children to seniors.
For questions or more tips for starting Supermarket Tours in your area contact:
- Rebecca Morley, MA, CLC
- Eat Smart Missoula Program with the Missoula City-County Health Department
- Phone: 406-258-3827
- Email: rmorley
- Mailing Address: 301 W. Alder Missoula, MT 59802