Here at Guiding Stars, we have a lot of passion around healthy food and helping people make more nutritious choices. It is what we do. The messaging of healthy, good-for-you food to others is a team effort and we spend a lot of time focusing on getting the word out.
Frequently in the news these days is the well-being of our children, particularly when it comes to school lunch. Our own Erin Dow, Guiding Stars Expert Chef, is on the front line of school lunch nutrition working with food service providers to set the stage for providing elementary school-aged children with healthy and nutritious food offerings. She doesn’t stop there, but looks also to engage the children in their classroom and have them to participate so they understand as they learn. They are exposed to good food by doing as well as tasting. By looking to include the children as well as the food service providers as part of the process she not only builds community but builds the stepping stones to bringing the right kinds of food to children in schools.
On the university level, Erin works closely with a team of chefs and her Guiding Stars recipes inspire them to think of ways that they can develop recipes that are more healthy and will earn Guiding Stars. By harnessing the passion and a can do attitude, she finds ways to get people excited and engaged. When Jamie Oliver’s recent Food Revolution Day was announced, Erin jumped on the bandwagon with a video that focused on the needs of a local Head Start program that she had visited. In it she spoke with the kids about their food likes and out of that conversation, concocted an easy, healthful, Guiding Stars one Star trail mix recipe. That same trail mix, with six individual ingredients, became the basis for a make-your-own own trail mix bar for kids at a local Community Center in support of Food Revolution Day.
In store, our Guiding Stars consulting RD, Allison Stowell spends time with customers with needs as varied as being on a budget or battling a chronic disease such as diabetes or heart disease. These folks are looking to shop for more healthful items but don’t quite know where to begin. Using the Guiding Stars program in store, she points out better choices in a wide range of categories and up and down many of the food aisles. For those looking to make a change, the time she spends with them can dispel many a food myth. She delights in working with people and sharing with them how they can approach the often daunting task of eating better and more nutritiously whether on a budget or with disease management in mind. She is there to cajole, to re-assure, or to encourage, giving individuals and families the tools they need to begin bringing or expanding more nutritious food offerings into their everyday lives.
I’m a pleased that Erin and Alli will be leading a Guiding Stars webinar on June 19 at 2 pm EDT entitled “School Nutrition: Feeding the Next Generation” –a topic that both of them are passionate about and have some hands on ideas to share. We hope you will join them and learn more about what you can do on this very topical issue.