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Stress-free shopping

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. – Shown here are some of the healthy food choices available at the Minot Air Force Base commissary. To celebrate National Nutrition Month, the Minot AFB Health and Wellness Center, First District Health Unit and Trinity Hospitals are teaming up to help people learn to shop for groceries in a healthy, feasible way by holding Stress-Free Grocery Shopping tours March 22 and March 25. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. – Shown here are some of the healthy food choices available at the Minot Air Force Base commissary. To celebrate National Nutrition Month, the Minot AFB Health and Wellness Center, First District Health Unit and Trinity Hospitals are teaming up to help people learn to shop for groceries in a healthy, feasible way by holding Stress-Free Grocery Shopping tours March 22 and March 25. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- To celebrate National Nutrition Month, the Minot Air Force Base Health and Wellness Center, First District Health Unit and Trinity Hospitals are teaming up this March to help people learn to shop for groceries in a healthy, stress-free way.

One of the ways they are accomplishing this is by holding Stress-Free Grocery Shopping tours. The tours will provide an environment in which to learn ways to reduce shopping time, identify the best food choices and save money during the shopping trip at the grocery store.

"The idea is to take out some of the guess work in figuring out of which products to get, how to shop and what are the best deals for your nutrition as well as your pocket book," said Stephanie Wheeler, a health educator with the HAWC.

The plan is to have tours at the base commissary, as well as downtown. The on-base tour is scheduled for Mar. 25 at 10 a.m. The downtown tour is scheduled for Mar. 22 at the Dakota Square Miracle Mart at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Tours will be led by health and nutrition experts from Trinity Hospital and the HAWC. Each tour will last approximately one hour.

"We plan on having two dieticians who will take people on a tour around the grocery store," Wheeler said. "You'll have an opportunity to ask a dietician any question you can think of."

During the tour, there will be samples of different healthy food for attendees to try. The group will visit each section of the grocery store, see all the choices and decide what to choose and why.

"It's going to be very simple," said Wheeler. "We don't want people to get information-overload. Otherwise they walk out saying 'Ok, I never want to go back to the store. That was too much.'"

According to Wheeler, the Stress-Free Grocery Shopping tours began with another health-conscious HAWC program called, "Ask a Dietician day."

"People attending the program were asking a lot of questions," she said. "What should they buy? How do they know if what they are buying is healthy? How many grams of fat is too many?"

After seeing that people were interested in shopping for food to support a healthy lifestyle, the shopping tours were created. The plan is to cater the tour to those in attendance. All are welcome including single Airmen, retirees and dependents.

With the changes to the Air Force fitness standards, many individuals are realizing they must focus on healthy food choices as well as exercise. However, Wheeler wanted to stress that eating the right foods does more than help you out for the next physical fitness assessment.

"I like to impress on people that it is for your life-long fitness," she said. "It's not just getting to that 6-month fitness review or that annual PHA. We want people to think about their life style and who you want to be when you are 70 years old."

For more information about the Stress-Free Grocery Shopping tours or other health-related topics, contact the HAWC at 723-2991 or click HERE
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