Baton Rouge General and Rouses bring back grocery store tours to promote healthier options
BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge General and Rouses are bringing back free grocery store tours for the first time in three years after the pandemic put the program on hold.
A dietitian leads the group through Rouses, starting with produce. The guide shows the group how to pick ripe fruits and vegetables while also sharing recipes to spice up nutritious produce.
“We want half of the plate to be filled with vegetables at lunch and dinner,” Baton Rouge General dietitian and tour guide Kristin West said. “A lot of times, people complicate healthy eating, so we want to talk about meals that are very quick and easy to throw together.”
West also includes healthier options for meats, dairy products, snacks and pantry staples during the tour.
“We step into the meat section and just talk about how important it is to choose fresh meats without any pre-marinades or things like that,” she said.
By the end of the tour, participants will learn to search for certain ingredients instead of trusting terms like “low fat” or “healthy.”
“We encourage people to take that extra step to look at the nutrition label, look at the ingredients to really know the quality of what they're eating,” West said. “It's a great way to identify unhealthy oils, added sugars, extra preservatives.”
From yogurt to salad dressing, the one-hour tour could change your typical grocery list for the better.
“I find that people are most interested in doing these tours if they're trying to make an investment in their health through weight loss or managing their blood sugar more efficiently,” she said.
But it’s also beneficial to participants who are not ready for a life-changing commitment, as West tries to cater the tours to the interests of the group.
“We're very careful to give options that may not be the perfect option but are better options because people aren't always ready to commit full-on to an extreme way of eating,” West said.
The tours alternate every about week at the Rouses on Bluebonnet, Juban Crossing and Church Street.
They are completely free, but they do ask that you sign up in advance since they typically fill up quickly.
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