Healthful Shopping Activity Ideas

Are your clients confident in the grocery store? Having healthful food around the house makes it much easier to choose nutritious foods, so managing a shopping trip well is key to good health. Here are some fun ideas to help your clients get shopping savvy!

Activity #1: Great to Evaluate

Before your participants arrive, arrange a few healthful and unhealthful foods in discreet areas of the room. Make sure each food has nutrition information attached to it.

When your participants arrive, divide them into groups. Explain that you have hidden a set of foods around the room and need them to evaluate those foods using the Nutrition Facts Panel.

Each group must find the foods and write down key information about each one. You can decide whether to offer them things to look for before they begin searching (saturated fat, calories per serving, etc) or whether you want to evaluate what they determine to be “key” information on their own.

Let the groups search and take notes, and once everyone is wrapping up their projects, reconvene the class.

What did everyone find? Have each group present information about one of the foods they chose. Is it healthful? Calorie-dense? Nutrient-dense? What did they notice about that food?

Offer time for discussion between each presentation, and continue reviewing until you’ve covered all the foods that you hid. How can your clients apply what they’ve learned to their next shopping trip?

Activity #2: Sliding Scale

September is Whole Grain Month, so what better time is there to explore whole grains?

Lay out a series of different grain foods, some healthful, some not. A combination of bread, whole grain pasta, regular pasta, white rice, brown rice, muffins, crackers, and cookies is a great place to start.

As a class, discuss the health impact of each food and have volunteers rearrange those objects in order of healthfulness. For example, the grain spectrum might run (in order of highest to lowest grades): brown rice, whole grain pasta, 100% whole wheat bread, regular pasta, white rice, wheat crackers, white bread, blueberry muffin, and chocolate chip cookies. Why would this order be effective? Discuss everyone’s thoughts as a class.

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