Posted by & filed under News.


We talked a lot about whole grains at the Shopping for Health conference this year, including ways to encourage shoppers to up their consumption to the recommended 48 grams, or 3 – 4 servings, each day.

SFH sponsor Nabisco gave supermarket RDs lots of ideas for cooking demonstrations and other in-store activities that can educate both adults and kids on the need to consume whole grains.

The goal of “making whole grains half of the daily grain consumption” is one in which most people fall far short.¹ On average, Americans consume less than 16g of whole grains each day. Fewer than 5% of adults consume the recommended amount and less than 30% of adolescents consume more than 8g of whole grains a day.

Here are some ideas from Nabisco for working with your shoppers, using Honey Grahams and Triscuits as the source of whole grains:

  • Are you hosting a school group or other group of kids on an in-store tour? Send them on a scavenger hunt in search of whole grains. Challenge them individually or in teams to find whole grain products form the bakery, cookie/cracker and center aisles, all totaling up to at least 48 grams of whole grains. Start by showing the kids how to read the whole grain content on the front of the package or nutrition label.
  • Shoppers may be surprised to learn the true size of whole grain servings. Display various 1-serving equivalents of whole grains, such as 1 slice of 100% whole grain bread and ½ cup cooked 100% whole grain pasta. Use common reference items to reinforce portion sizes – 1 slice of bread equals the size of an index card, ½ cup of cooked pasta or rice equals a tennis ball. The takeaway: 1 serving is equal to 16 grams of whole grain, and 48 grams of whole grain is needed each day.
  • If space permits, have shoppers prepare their own pairings, creating snack ideas by combining whole grain products like crackers with an assortment of wholesome ingredients (e.g., fruit/vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats, spreads made with nuts/beans). Discuss MyPlate and the importance of choosing foods from the five food groups while participants are preparing their recipe.

Finally, hand out a shopping list that customers can use as they are walking through the store, making sure they think about incorporating whole grain products into their meal planning. Here is a sample shopping list from Nabisco – download from the Shopping for Health web site to duplicate.


¹US Grain Consumption Landscape. Lin and Yen. USDA Economic Research Service. November 2007.

Posted by & filed under Healthy.

Quite often we hear concerns regarding the safety of soy for women’s health, particularly related to breast cancer.  But did you know that eating soyfoods regularly may be protective against breast cancer, especially when begun in childhood or early adolescence?

The American Institute for Cancer Research reviewed the latest research for evidence on soy and cancer in 2014, and released a position statement¹ that soyfoods are not only safe but “contain several key nutrients and phytochemicals studied for their cancer prevention properties.” The American Cancer Society confirms this statement and supports soyfood consumption.

Women who eat soyfoods regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer compared to those who don’t. Researchers at the University of Southern California found² women averaging one cup of soymilk or about half a cup of tofu daily are 32% less likely to develop breast cancer and have a 29% decreased risk of death, compared with women who ate little or no soyfoods.

Eating soyfoods early in life may be one of the factors that explains why Asian women have lower breast cancer rates, as low as 1/5 that of Western women. Early intake of soyfoods may promote healthy breast tissue development.⁴

So what are some ways to increase soy consumption in the diet, particularly those that may appeal to young kids?

House Foods offers a wealth of tofu recipes on their web site, To get you started, here is a simple and tasty recipe for Crispy Parmesan Tofu Sliders. soy



Makes 8 sliders


1 package House Foods Tofu Firm or Extra Firm, drained
1 egg
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
2 tablespoons soy oil
8 small slices mozzarella cheese
8 slider buns or small dinner rolls, split, toasted
16 fresh basil leaves or 8 small lettuce leaves
8 slices plum tomato

Pesto Mayo:
1/4 cup fat free mayonnaise
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Pesto Mayo: Stir all ingredients for mayo in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Quarter block of tofu into 4 equal pieces. Slice each quarter horizontally into 2 thin pieces.

In shallow bowl, beat eggs with mustard. In another shallow dish, place bread crumbs and parmesan cheese; mix well. In a third bowl, combine flour and herb seasoning.

Dip tofu in flour mixture, then egg mixture, then coat with bread crumb mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add tofu to skillet cooking 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Top with mozarella slices after turning tofu. Spread sides of buns with pesto mayo and place tofu slices, topping with basil and tomato slices.



² Wu AH, Yu MC, Tseng CC, Pike MC. Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer 2008;98:9-14.

ᶾ Lee SA, Shu XO, Li H, Yang G, Cai H, Wen W, Ji B-T, Gao J, Gao YT, Zheng W. Adolescent and adult soy food intake and breast cancer risk: results from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1920–6.

⁴ Gilchrist JM, Moore MB, Andres A, Estro­ JA, Badger TM. Ultrasonographic patterns of reproductive organs in infants fed soy formula: Comparisons to infants fed breast milk and milk formula. J Pediatrics. 2010;156(2):215-220.

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Summer is the prime season for dehydration, as hot days mean more sweating.sfh drinks

How much fluid do you need each day to stay well-hydrated? The Institute of Medicine recommends 91 ounces of total fluids each day for adult women, and 125 ounces a day for adult men. Keep in mind – that is total fluids, and foods consumed will provide about 20 percent of that.

Translating for your shoppers, this means that women should try to drink nine eight ounce glasses of liquids each day, while men should strive for twelve to thirteen. Especially hot or humid days may call for even more.

Nestle Waters North America provides this list of common symptoms of moderate dehydration, to be on the lookout for in both children and adults: infrequent need to urinate, darker yellow urine, dry mouth, headache, muscle cramps and dry, cool skin. More severe dehydration can lead to confusion, dizziness and overall listlessness.

From the bottle or tap, sparkling or still, water should be the primary beverage choice. Other beverages recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans include calorie-free
coffee and tea, skim or low-fat milk. And while whole fruit is preferred, it’s okay to get up to half of daily fruit servings from 100 percent fruit juice.

One important fact to keep in mind when choosing which beverages to consume, or to buy for kids to take to sports events: It’s very easy to add unwanted calories and extra added sugar to the diet, through beverages. In fact, the most recent national nutrition data reveal that 47 percent of all added sugars in the U.S. diet come from beverages including soft drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks.1

Enjoying a glass of water in place of just one twelve ounce sweetened beverage (at 140
calories per serving) each day is one of the easiest diet health swaps you can make. It would cut about 50,000 calories and more than 65 cups of sugar from your diet in a year!


1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary
Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at

Posted by & filed under Recipes.

When warm weather hits, the last thing many of us want to do is turn on a hot oven. These are the days when entrée salads served for dinner have much appeal.

Here is a salad recipe that is rich and filling enough to satisfy dinnertime appetites, but summerlike refreshing at the same time, thanks to the addition of grapes.  Grapes have a juicy sweetness that complements the mild flavor of shrimp, and their crisp bite adds to the crunch of the celery and water chestnuts. The grapes also have a nice tang that contrasts with thePicture1 full-bodied dressing.

This recipe from the California Table Grape Commission is perfect for a party on the patio, served either by itself or alongside whatever you’re grilling up on the barbecue. Enjoy it in different ways: mound the salad onto butter lettuce leaves, mix it with baby greens, or–for an especially summer-y treat, place a scoop inside an avocado half.

Coastal Salad with Grapes and Shrimp

1 pound large pink bay shrimp, cooked

1 cup seedless California grapes, quartered

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts

2 each green onions, sliced, white and green parts kept separate

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Few drops toasted sesame oil

Pinch     dry mustard

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, grapes, celery, water chestnuts and the sliced whites of the green onion.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sherry, salt, pepper, sesame oil and dry mustard.  Gently mix with shrimp and grape mixture.  Sprinkle with the sliced green part of the onion and the sesame seeds.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 227; Protein 25 g; Carbohydrate 13 g; Fat 8 g; 31% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 226 mg; Sodium 457 mg; Potassium 362 mg; Fiber 3 g.

Posted by & filed under Breakfast.


Bagels sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to nutrition. But there are many options available that can help you meet your nutrition goals. Look for smaller bagels such as mini’s or thins; whole wheat options are another great choice. If you’re really all about the cream cheese and toppings, whole grain crackers and rice cakes are other great options tTasty Bagel Toppingso build upon.


Those of us who love bagels know the schmear is really what matters! Arla Light cream cheese has just 60 calories, 5 gm fat and 3 gm saturated fat, compared to 200 calories, 23 grams fat and 15 gram saturated fat in the same portion of butter. No matter if you use a full fat or light variety, it’s important to keep the schmear light and focus on other flavorful, healthful ingredients to add. Arla Original cream cheese is made with just four ingredients: cream, buttermilk, cheese culture and salt.


Most of us don’t get enough fruits and vegetables, so adding them in wherever possible, even in small amounts, can add up to big impacts in health. By placing raspberries and blackberries in a small bowl and smashing them with a fork, you’ve made a great replacement for jam or jelly. Or try topping bagels with cinnamon sprinkles, chopped walnuts, and thin slices of apple or pear.


When looking for a topping for bagels, start with a schmear of Arla Light cream cheese and then look in the drawer of the fridge for inspiration on vegetables. Thinly sliced beets are perfect when paired with chopped pistachios. Shredded carrots, chopped onions, and olives with Arla Herbs and Spices cream cheese make a delicious combination as well


Here is a bagel topping guide from Arla that gives other tasty ideas:


Topping Suggestions

Sweet Savory
-Blueberry CC with smashed raspberries & blackberries -Peppercorn CC with pesto, tomato slices
-Light CC with ground flax, mango, papaya or kiwi chunks, coconut sprinkles -Light CC with chopped green onion, thin sliced cucumber, Worcestershire sauce
-Light CC, sliced strawberries, drizzle of balsamic vinegar -Herbs and Spices CC with shredded carrots, chopped green onion, chopped olives
-Blueberry CC, blueberries, lemon zest -Peppercorn CC with Canadian bacon slices and cooked egg whites (cut with a biscuit cutter)
-Light CC, cinnamon sprinkles, chopped walnuts, thin-sliced apple or pear -Light CC with crushed red pepper, hot sauce, avocado slices
-Light CC, pumpkin puree, nutmeg & cinnamon -Light CC with chopped pistachios, thin sliced beets
-Peppercorn CC prosciutto, thin sliced cantaloupe






Posted by & filed under Consumer Research, Fact/Information Sheets, Healthy, Ingredient.

All About Organics


When you see the USDA Certified Organic label on food packages, what does that mean about the product, for you and your shoppers?


Organic Valley, a farming cooperative and leading producer of organic dairy and meat products for almost thirty years, talked to supermarket dietitians at Shopping for Health 2016, explaining the benefits consumers may receive from choosing organic foods.

These include:

  • Third-party certification
  • Intense record-keeping during product growth and production
  • Required outdoor access for animals
  • A system that sustains soil health, biodiversity and water quality

Customers can also be assured by the organic label that the product does NOT contain:

  • Antibiotics
  • Synthetic hormones
  • Toxic pesticides or herbicides
  • GMOs
  • Irradiation

Why does this matter to you and your store?

  • Eight in ten shoppers say they chose to purchase at least one organic food product in the last year, according to Organic Valley research
  • 39% saying that they always buy organic

Most important to supermarkets: the organic category continues to growth, as 51% of shoppers say that they are currently buying organic foods more often now than they were a year ago.

This is an important observation, given that organic foods are 47% more expensive, on average, than their conventionally-produced counterparts, according to Consumer Reports.

Posted by & filed under News.

Nutrition experts say that adults need to eat 48 grams of whole grains every day. That sounds like a lot, but is it? And as a retail dietitian, how can you help your shoppers translate that recommendation to daily eating and meal planning?

Whole grains are a good food to add to the diet during snacking occasions, because they usually package and transport easily and don’t have to be refrigerated. The trick is to teach shoppers to take advantage of their mid-meal cravings, as an opportunity to add some important whole grains. Options abound and are limited only by creativity or personal preferences! Here’s a chart developed by Nabisco that gives some starter ideas for snack pairings. Download at and use to help your shoppers consume the needed amount of whole grains every day.



Posted by & filed under News.

Sometimes the simplest treats are simply the best.  That’s definitely the case when it comes to one of the best summer snack foods: Frozen Grapes!Picture1

Now that summer is officially here, make it a point to remind your shoppers how easy it is to prepare and store these mini-sorbet-like treats that also happen to provide nutrition benefits.  Simply rinse, pat dry and place grapes in a re-sealable bag. Place in the freezer. Two hours later – and for up to a couple of weeks, if they last that long — they’re ready to enjoy.

From the California Table Grape Commission, here are other easy, tasty recipe ideas featuring grapes that will make your summer snacking and eating healthier than ever:

  • Frosty fresh grape pops are a cool treat for adults and kids alike. Because they are made with fresh fruit, they’re a good-for-you option compared to most desserts on a stick.
  • Turn traditional gazpacho recipes upside down with green grape gazpacho. Lettuce, cucumber, grapes and more combine to put a new twist on an old favorite.
  • For a refreshing sweet beverage to help beat the heat, whip up a grape agua fresca. Mix freshly made grape juice, a sprinkle of sugar and lime juice to taste, and you have a drink that may just dethrone lemonade as your summertime drink of choice. Add sparkling water for a bubbly spin.
  • Make fresh grape salsa by combining fresh grapes, cilantro, and chilies with vinegar, onions and salt and pepper. Serve with chips or toasted crostini for a deceptively simple dish with an unforgettable flavor.


For more cool grape recipes, visit

Posted by & filed under Protein.

For shoppers interested in more plant-based eating, tofu and other soyfoods make an excellent protein choice.

The health benefits are many:

  • Heath Health – 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the FDA health claim.
  • Weight management – Protein rich soyfoods like tofu can help with weight management. When soyfoods replace other protein sources, they help lower body weight and fat, as well as lower LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Muscle Growth and Recovery – Dietary protein provides both essential amino acids and calories necessary to help build and repair muscles, organs and tissues in the body, for physically active people.

House Foods, with facilities in California and New Jersey, has been making organic and conventional tofu since 1983. Your customers may need assistance in reading their tofu product labels to determine which they prefer or should use for a particular recipe: products range from soft or silken, to medium-firm, firm and extra firm. The firmer varieties are best for grilling recipes and stir-fry recipes, while softer types are the best choice for smoothies and soups.

At the Shopping for Health 2016 conference in Austin, attending supermarket dietitians enjoyed a terrific lunch of tofu recipes. Here is one of the favorites:

Tofu Tacos Picture1

1 (14 oz.) package House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Firm, drained, pressed and cut into 1/2 in. cubes (alternative option: crumble tofu)
1 package low sodium taco seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (15 oz.) can low sodium black beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
10 corn tortillas
1/3 head lettuce, shredded

Optional Toppings:
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
Cilantro, chopped
Lime juice


In medium bowl, combine tofu and taco seasoning. Stir to coat.

Add oil to large fry pan, warm over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook until browned, remove and set aside. (If using crumbled tofu rather than cubed, add tofu to pan and sprinkle with taco seasoning.)

Add black beans and corn to two separate pots; set to medium heat. Heat until cooked through.
Warm tortillas in a separate pan. To assemble, spoon tofu, black beans and corn onto tortillas; top with lettuce. Add optional toppings as desired.

Posted by & filed under News.

73F3A7AC-801A-41BC-86A8-24DFB75E9F47Is it time for a morning or afternoon snack? What little nosh would taste good right now, without blowing the day’s allotment for calories?

The Almond Board of California asked shoppers what favorite foods come to mind as a healthy snack; apples topped the list, followed by almonds, carrots, yogurt and granola. These same consumers listed “high in fiber,” “high in protein,” and “natural” as the most important qualities they look for when searching for healthy snacks.

But “taste of the food” is still the single most important consideration, even trumping “health” when making a snack choice. Consumers used words like “crave” (41%) and “exciting flavor” (39%) to describe what they are looking for in mid-meal eating. Thirty-seven percent said it’s most important that their snacks “combine good taste and good health.”

Here are some more interesting stats on snacks from the Almond Board of California consumer survey:

  • North Americans snack and average of 2.6 times a day, up from 1.8 times a day in 2008;
  • We snack ‘round the clock, but the three most popular times of day to snack are after dinner or late at night (24%), mid-afternoon (21%) and mid-morning (18%);
  • Fifty-eight percent of us follow the traditional three-meals-a-day plus two snacks eating pattern, while a full 24 percent say that they substitute at least one meal a day with a snack;
  • If we ever saw stigma in snacking, that is rapidly vanishing. Ninety-four percent of these shoppers agree that snacking can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, while only 27 percent say that they try to avoid snacking altogether;
  • Seventeen percent of these shoppers say they always plan for their snacking; 11% say they “never” plan snacks and eat throughout the day as the opportunity arises;
  • The nut most likely to be associated with snacking? Almonds, by 30% of shoppers. Twenty-four percent responded by saying peanuts, followed by 19% who responded by saying cashews.