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Insider's Viewpoint: Maggie Griffin, Brookshire Grocery

When I go to the hardware store, looking for a new screwdriver, I’m in foreign territory. I don’t know much about screwdrivers, and only want to know just enough to make my purchase. If the salesperson tries to educate me too much on screwdrivers, my eyes glaze over. When it comes to hardware, I’m a beginner and happy to stay that way—even though I know I’d be better off if I took time to learn.

The same thing applies at the grocery store. Because I spend all day focused on nutrition, shopping, recipes, food and educating customers, it’s easy for me to forget that my perspective on healthy eating might be a bit extreme. It’s what I do for a living, after all. And while there are a significant number of shoppers who are deeply passionate about food, there is an even larger group of the public that isn’t. Call them the silent majority, but for many folks, talking about free radicals and antioxidants is far too much information. Instead, they want to hear about healthier choices in eating, cooking and shopping without all the complicated jargon. They want baby steps to better nutrition.

Baby steps. Little improvements can really add up to big changes over time. Put aside the lecture about polyunsaturates and monodiglycerides. Instead, go for small, achievable goals such as:

  • Fruit or veggies with every meal.
  • Carrots instead of cheese puffs.
  • An extra glass of water.
  • Diet soda instead of full-sugar.
  • Light sour cream instead of regular.
  • Ground turkey instead of beef.
  • 2 servings of fish each week.
  • Whole wheat bread instead of white.
  • Smaller portions.
  • No trans fats.

Meeting people where they are, without judging or overloading them with information makes them want to come back for more. Showing small changes that can lead to improvement offers hope. And hope leaves everyone thinking, "Yes, I can do that!"
Maggie Griffin
Nutritionist
Brookshire Grocery Company

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