Progressive Grocer

SEP 2016

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20 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | September 2016 A lthough the leaves lthough the leaves are just turning, it's not too turning, it's not too early to begin planning for begin planning for the holi- day season. Fall and winter Fall and winter are associated with celebrations, from social gatherings to wagon rides to light displays, and with them can come comfort food, extra helpings an come comfort food, extra helpings and growing waistlines. ankfully, retail dietitians are in the ranks at many groc dietitians are in the ranks at many grocers to provide tools, help navigate and prep to provide tools, help navigate and prepare customers to fill their carts with delicio customers to fill their carts with delicious foods that also maintain or boost health foods that also maintain or boost health. A sensible way that consumers can approach the shopping experience is to adopt the phrase "all food f its." This means that any product on the shelf can be part of a healthy diet; it's the amount consumed that's the greater issue. For that reason, it's benef i- cial to concentrate on nutrient-dense choices while perhaps limiting other foods lower in nutrition to strike a balance, regardless of dietar y restriction, food preference, season- alit y or other factors. e holidays fit nicely into this model, remind- ing consumers that a change in routine and an increase in variety at point of purchase don't have to mean failure if care is given to creating balance. Raising a Glass A primary focus in keeping calories under control, and therefore weight better managed, is being smart about sips. Many available beverages, particularly those enjoyed during the holidays, are loaded with excess calories that don't provide satiety. Good alternatives are lighter drinks such as fat-free cocoa, lower-sugar juices, diet sodas, and skim or nondairy milk. Even better options are drinks made with fruit (think homemade smoothies or a spritz of fresh fruit in seltzer water), while the best options are water, herbal tea or decaffeinated black coffee. e general and adult beverage aisle is a big attraction all days of the year, but it could have even greater appeal October through January when shoppers are looking for in- novative tastes that "bottle" the holiday spirit. All's By Molly Hembree It may be more critical than ever to enlist the expertise of your retail dietitian this time of year to assure shoppers that nutritious choices can be easy. Recipe for Wellness for Recipe for Wellness Wellness Consider directing your store chef or retail dietitian to r Consider directing your store chef or retail dietitian to directing your store chef or retail dietitian to show shoppers tangible ways to create health- how show shoppers tangible ways to create health- shoppers tangible ways to create health- ful holiday dishes. ere are variations, simple swaps, ingredient substitutions and alternative alternative preparation methods to add a preparation methods to add a nutritional nutritional "oomph" to holiday favorites. "oomph" to holiday favorites. For For instance, a switch from oil to instance, a switch from oil to applesauce or canned pumpkin in some lesauce applesauce or canned pumpkin in some or canned pumpkin in some recipes can maintain moisture but cipes recipes can maintain moisture but can maintain moisture but increase vitamin A content. Replacing crease increase vitamin A content. Replacing vitamin A content. Replacing eggs with cornstarch and water may gs eggs with cornstarch and water may with cornstarch and water may reduce dietary cholesterol, and all- uce reduce dietary cholesterol, and all- dietary cholesterol, and all- purpose purpose flour often can be exchanged for flour often can be exchanged for whole wheat flour to up the fiber content. Retailers can also take the guesswork out of meal planning by providing ready-to-eat meal kits in the deli or fresh food departments, which offer convenience and free up time for shoppers to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family. Sensible Sweets Who can forget the decadence of seasonal des- serts? Despite the richness of foods — enjoyed in moderation — including candy, cherry pies, pumpkin rolls, eggnog, fudge and frosted cakes, many alternatives exist that can keep customers' health in check. e flavors of the season can be savored in dif- ferent formats. For example, lighter fare like cin- namon apple crisp, simple gingerbread cookies, roasted pears with pine nuts, vanilla rice pudding and mint meringue cookies evoke the essence of fall and winter, but with less sugar, fat or salt. Consider providing shoppers with healthy recipe cards in the bak- ing aisle or cross-merchandising products to promote the whole store during the holidays. It may be more critical than ever to enlist the expertise of your retail dietitian this time of year to assure shoppers that nutritious choices can be easy, affordable and enjoyable, and to capture the novel flavors of the holidays. PG Molly Hembree, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian coordinator for The Little Clinic and Kroger. Helping Shoppers Survive Holiday Eating Retailers can help consumers navigate a minefield of decadent celebratory treats.

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