Engaging with Guiding Stars

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary this month, we’ve had stories and photos pouring in from many of Hannaford’s RDs as they share how they’ve used Guiding Stars and our 10th anniversary to inspire more nutritious choices among Hannaford’s customers. For the next couple weeks, we’ll be sharing their stories here on our blog, so be sure to check in for great ideas on how to eat well and how to share knowledge of nutritious eating with others.

Pat Hunter, MA, RD, CDE

Chelmsford, MA | Leominster, MA

I advertised our August Guiding Stars evens as a celebration to celebrate the 10th Anniversary and in the store had 3 tables at the front of each store  with Happy Birthday flags on the tables.  I displayed the Guiding Stars wheel. I displayed and explained the system to many interested shoppers and mostly children took their turn at spinning the wheel. I had three tables set up:

The first table ( the moving classroom display) where shoppers could stop and make a quick trail mix of Kashi Heart to heart cereal / dried fruit/ chocolate chips and discussed how this was an example of a 3-5 star snack. Sample of Santa Claus Melon and last a Fruit Salsa on a whole grain cracker or tortilla chip.  When children came to the table I handed out 5 colorful jelly bands and explained the importance of consuming 5 a day and how to start with them on one arm and move them during the day as they did have a serving of produce.

The second table displayed the Guiding Stars wheel and handouts for parents focused on back-to-school lunch box ideas and quick dinner meals. All shoppers young and old stopped to pick up ideas.

Kids were able to go on scavenger hunts through the store. I had three different types depending on the child’s age and interest. Choices were: A sugar detective hunt where they would look at  five of their  favorite foods and record grams of sugar, the second a hunt where they had to answer 10 questions and it sent them through the store to find various items( example a orange vegetable earning 3 stars) and last a simple my plate handout where they could record foods in each category and number of stars earned.

I did have a bean bag toss set up and the prize was an activity booklet.  My last station was a Sugar Math display where I had a bottle of soda, and two breakfast foods where I showed families how to read labels for sugar grams and discussed healthy limits a day..

The responses were varied. Here are a few:  “I had no idea about the stars but I will definitely use them when I shop in the future.” “Thanks for taking the time to explain this to me, that’s fantastic.”  “I had no idea the detail of the stars. I plan on looking at staging.guidingstars.com.”

I had copied some info on the program for interested shoppers to take home with them.  I hope this is useful. The events were a lot of fun and I am always happy to teach customers about the science behind the stars.

Fran Weiss, MS, RD, CDN

Albany, NY


I have had positive feedback while engaging customers and associates with interactive Guiding Stars activities. I have noticed a definite improvement in nutrition choices by repeat customers who “shop the stars.” Some of the ideas I have used this year are described and pictured in the attachments and include:

  1. Guiding Stars Bean Bag Toss Game (using the photo op Guiding Stars stand) ..a definite “hit”! (no pun intended!)
  2. Reinforced and rewarded healthy shopping in real time plus attendance at nutrition classes with a Guiding Stars coupon
  3. Guiding Stars coupons during classes for those who “Stump the Dietitian”
  4. Interactive Guiding Stars activities at camp, health fairs, and other out-of store events /programs
  5. Guiding Stars Bingo as part of classes
  6. Guiding Stars promotion on Bulletin Boards
  7. Interactive Guiding Stars learning at demos – DIY recipes
  8. Interactive Guiding Stars learning during classes such as learning to prepare a recipe from scratch at my “Foods with A-peel” class
  9. Guiding Stars scavenger hunts and store tours
  10. Children’s art projects