If you were picking up groceries this week at Brookdale ShopRite, you might have seen dozens of little shoppers doing some serious shopping — filling a cart full of “go” foods on a $25 budget.
The shopping spree is a follow-up field trip to the nutrition and healthy eating talk presented to 4th graders in Bloomfield public schools by Brookdale ShopRite’s registered dietician and nutritional consultant, Jessica Serdikoff, RDN CPT.
The new Student Shopper program kicked off in February at five Bloomfield elementary schools – Oak View, Brookdale, Demarest, Watsessing, and Franklin. Serdikoff’s audience was 4th grade students.
The students learned about MyPlate, the government’s guide for healthy eating; the importance of whole grains; reducing sugar consumption (and why it matters); reading a food label; and differentiating between “slow” and “go” foods, otherwise considered “sometimes” vs “healthy” foods, says Serdikoff.
The shopping field trips during March get the kids engaged and excited about taking charge of their food choices at a young age, says Serdikoff. Kids can stop at activity stations scattered throughout the store that test nutrition knowledge with math, reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. There’s healthy food tasting, and the kids convert a “slow” recipe, either nachos or pizza, into a “go” recipe using simple swaps.
Serdikoff is thrilled with the success of the program so far. “I love how the program allows the student to have fun while learning about healthy eating, opening them up to making healthier choices on their own.”