Hospital offers ‘shop healthy’ food tours

Bon Secours Hospital is offering guided tours of supermarket aisles so people can learn how to spot the healthy grub from the not so healthy.

The brainchild of dietician manager at the hospital, Karen Macken, the 90-minute tours, which will kick off at the end of the month, are intended to show people how to shop healthily. The tours take place in the company of a qualified dietician and will take place in SuperValu in the Cork suburbs of Grange, Togher, or Glanmire.

Bon Secours is charging people €25 per person in a small group or €150 for a private tour in what it calls its “guide to shopping and menu planning” and the tours are particularly aimed at people with cholesterol, diabetes, coeliac disease, food allergies, and other special diets.

Ms Macken said the idea of the supermarket tours was something the hospital had been looking at for some time and interest has already been shown in the idea.

“It’s something we have had an interest in doing for a few years, but we haven’t really had the resources to try something like this, to bring it out into the community. We did bring out a healthy eating supermarket tour DVD, which was an educat-ional tool for people in cardiac rehab.

“However, we have had an increase in resources which will allow us to bring the service out into the community.

“It’s a hands-on, interactive service for people with diabetes, cardiac rehab, high cholesterol and even food allergies who maybe don’t understand what they can and can’t eat.”

Ms Macken said the idea is widely in use in the US and Britain and has been proven to be a successful educational tool.

“It allows us to tailor the tour to the needs of the people using it. As dieticians, you often get questions on shopping lists for people with various problems and we’d talk them through certain products.

“The fact is it’s a proven method and it’s enjoyable.”

* Those interested in taking the tour can contact the nutrition and dietetics service at the Bon Secours at 021 4941930.


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