Kids in the Aisles


Program helps steer kids toward good nutrition

August is Kids Eat Right Month and the core principles are a tailor-made call-to-action for retail dietitians: Shop Smart, Cook Healthy, Eat Right. This initiative from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation's Kids Eat Right program focuses on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children and families. It features expert advice from registered dietitian nutritionists to help families achieve the Kids Eat Right core principles.

As dietitians, we often advise parents to involve kids in grocery shopping to promote healthful eating habits. We also know it’s not easy.

Kids influence up to 80 percent of family food spending, according to the Kids Eat Right website. When it comes to the grocery aisles, parents often give in to items like sweets and chips to avoid a power struggle, found a recent study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The study, part of a project designed to encourage healthy food purchasing in a low-income neighborhood in Baltimore, found that many caregivers, when pressed by their children, ended up buying food that they didn’t intend to buy. To counter this problem, caregivers suggested putting nutritious options at kids’ eye level and moving less nutritious ones out of the way, allowing children to sample healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables at the store and offering cooking classes to older children.

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