By: Susan Borra, RD, Senior Vice President, Communications and Strategic Planning, Food Marketing Institute and Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, Vice President, Food Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute
Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! As the two dietitians working for the Food Marketing Institute, we want to recognize and congratulate all our fellow dietitians who have made food retail their career choice.
Dietitians in the supermarket industry will tell you the best part of working in food retail is the multitude of opportunities for dietetic practice. Dietitians with clinical expertise are providing nutrition counseling in supermarket pharmacies and in-store clinics. Dietitians with a food technology focus are heading up quality assurance and food safety departments. Dietitians with communications skills are serving as nutrition and health spokespersons for the company. Dietitians with a culinary background are teaming up with supermarket chefs to design delicious, healthy prepared meals for customers to enjoy at home with their family. And the list goes on.
Health, wellness and nutrition continue to be more important to the business model of the supermarket. Eighty-eight percent of food retailers say they are emphasizing consumer health and wellness as a completive strategy and 70 percent view supermarket health and wellness programs as a significant business growth opportunity to the entire industry in the years ahead. Today, 95 percent of food retailers employ dietitians at the corporate, regional and or store level.
We are very proud to be counted among the hundreds of Registered Dietitians who served the public through their careers in the supermarket. We know that all the dietitians in food retail are making a difference in shopper’s lives by helping them make food choices for a healthy and enjoyable diet.
So the next time you see your favorite supermarket dietitian, please thank them for all they do to help feed families and enrich lives in the communities they serve. Then you can ask them to share their top three tips for healthy eating. Since you asked, here are ours:
Sue’s top 3 tips for healthy eating:
- Enjoy all foods; just monitor your portion sizes.
- Pay attention to the calories you consume as beverages.
- Make family meals a priority.
- And if I could have a 4th tip: Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Hilary’s top 3 tips for healthy eating:
- Drink water with every meal
- Eat your fruits and vegetables first (they are good for you and help fill you up)
- Always try to sit down to eat dinner, food should be enjoyed with family and friends
For additional information on how supermarkets are contributing to the health of their customers: Retailer Contributions to Health and Wellness.