BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - What’s for dinner is most likely on every shopper’s mind as they roll down the grocery aisle.
“I am trying to get away from those quick foods and know what I can eat that is quick, but healthier,” Susan Bigner said.
Determining the healthy option for your plate can sometimes be overwhelming, so the next time you’re in Rouses, you might spot a Baton Rouge General dietitian making their way through the store.
Victoria Campesi, a dietitian at BRG, is teaching people about healthy cooking and how to figure out what makes the healthy food group cut.
“Let’s try and pick whole foods, but if we have to pick something that comes in a package, how can we really break this down and decide, ‘Okay this is a healthier option.’”
This new way of teaching people about meal planning and healthy eating is a partnership between BRG and Rouses. Once a month, dietitians walk through the store and teach people how to navigate through the aisles in a grocery store tour.
Health experts say when you reach for the next item on your list, check the label first.
“The shorter that list, the better,” Campesi said. “I love turning that package over and all I see is cream and salt or carrots and salt. Very, very simple.” She adds that shoppers should be able to pronounce the names of the ingredients too.
Campesi says this program is about teaching people in the community how to cut out the bad ingredients.
“Artificial ingredients, artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, additives, dyes, tons of chemicals that we don’t really know what they’re doing to our bodies,” she explained.
Campesi adds that if you don’t like what can be a laundry list of ingredients on the back, dietitians can teach you how to make whatever you want the healthy way. Campesi says it’s about putting whole foods in the body.
“We try to pull some of those quick digesting carbs and replace them with nutritious, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, we can really improve our diet,” Campesi explained.
Bigner says she’s learned what foods to avoid. She says it’s the future she’s focused on, living better for her kids and grand kids.
“It’s really easy to stop and go through a drive-through rather than go home and cook,” Bigner said. “This gave me some options that I can do a one day cook and have meals for the rest of the day that are healthier.”
Experts say healthy eating is a lifestyle change that doesn’t happen overnight, so when you’re thinking about reaching for junk food, grab a healthy pick me up instead.
Grocery store tours are held at the Rouses on Bluebonnet Boulevard and at Juban Crossing. The tour is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Sign up here.