With a range of nutritional challenges facing South Africa today, Woolworths, in partnership with the Sports Science Institute and its dietary practice Shelly Meltzer & Associates, have continued to offer dietitian-led ‘Moms Tours’ of Woolies Foodmarkets to give parents the opportunity to learn about good food options, balanced lunch boxes and smart snacking ideas. The tours are part of Woolworths Educational Programme for primary schools, which has been helping teachers and parents teach Grade 4 learners in some 2000 schools about nutrition, healthy living and caring for the environment for over eight years. As part of Woolworths Good Business Journey, it is helping address a range of challenges that South African children experience, from increasing obesity in certain groups to persistent under-nutrition in others. A typical tour starts with a short session on the food groups, taking participants through how much of each should be included in a balanced meal and the role they play in the body. This is followed by an hour-long tour of the store, where moms are shown suitable products. Food labelling is also explained, to help parents ensure that their children are receiving the correct nutrients at each meal. This is followed by a Q&A session with tastings, which rounds off the tour. Currently the tours cover three topics including: “Healthy Lunchboxes”, “Quick & Easy Meals for the Whole Family” and “Brainfood for Exams”. Each topic looks at food groups in correct proportions, label reading, suitable products and recipe ideas. • “Healthy Lunchboxes” focuses on putting together balanced, healthy lunchbox options. Moms are given lunchbox options that are easy to implement at home. • “Quick & Easy Meals” covers easy meals for the whole family. It looks at convenient options in each food group, including ready to eat meals and snack options. • “Brainfood” looks at essential food required by children during exam times. “It is vital that teachers, parents and children understand the importance of good nutrition and learn to make healthy choices. Implementing these principles is not always that easy, and the store tours aim at providing parents with the tools to make better choices. Learning to make healthier choices in childhood will assist in positive health outcomes later in life,” says Maryke van Zyl, Woolworths consulting dietitian. The importance of exercise is also stressed during the tour. Parents are encouraged to get their children involved in school physical activity or after-hours sports programme, and to find time for the whole family to exercise together. Tours have been running since 2011 in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. More Moms Tours, which will be organised through schools, will be rolling out to other regions in the near future. They will be offered during mornings as well as in the early evening to accommodate working parents. For more information or to book your place on a Woolworths Mom’s Tour near you, please contact amandamhluzi@woolworths.co.za.