My Healthy Plate with Metro program brings smiles to Ontarians looking to make healthy food choices
TORONTO, March 17, 2014 /CNW/ - March is Nutrition Month and Metro is encouraging Ontarians to step up to the "plate" to make healthy eating choices easier with the My Healthy Plate with Metro program. According to the My Healthy Plate with Metro survey, 99 per cent of Ontarians consider it important to eat healthily. With that in mind, Metro, in collaboration with the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), a scientific advisory committee, and registered dietitians including Cara Rosenbloom, developed the My Healthy Plate with Metro program to help Ontarians make healthy choices.
The My Healthy Plate with Metro program, launched in October 2013, is based on four guiding pillars: improving the product offering by encouraging healthy eating and providing Ontarians with more choices; helping Ontarians choose healthier food products; making it easier to access affordable and healthy products; and promoting healthy eating within the community.
In celebration of the recently-launched My Healthy Plate with Metro program, Metro brought smiles to 500 homes across Ontario by delivering fresh and healthy groceries to select Toronto, London and Ottawa neighbourhoods showing Ontarians how fun and simple healthy eating can be. Each bag of groceries contained a recipe from Metro's registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom, along with all of the fresh ingredients required to make the recipe.
"While March is Nutrition Month, healthy eating should be an everyday goal," said Cara Rosenbloom, Toronto-based registered dietitian and member of the Dietitians of Canada. "Ontarians want to eat better, and almost 80 per cent say they would like to eat healthily more often. The My Healthy Plate with Metro program offers in-store and online tools to help Ontarians make better food decisions and live well."
With survey results revealing that only 22 per cent of those questioned find it very easy to identify healthy options, this program aims to take the guesswork out of making healthy choices by using smile labels to identify "good choices" and "great choices", directly on the products' shelf price tags. The program currently includes more than 3,000 products which have been rated as "good choices" and "great choices" across the entire store, with new products being added every month.
To help make the goal of eating healthy more attainable, Metro is combining in-store "smile" icons on rated product price tags on shelf, with online tips and recipes to simplify healthy shopping, as well as meal preparation. Below are five tips from Cara to help integrate healthy choices more easily, from cart to table.
- Eat Fresh: Aim to increase fruits and vegetables in your cart and on your plate
- Cook at home: Learn to love cooking at home, use fresh ingredients and keep them as natural as possible
- Start with the perimeter: Shop the perimeter of the store first for fresh foods, then work your way in to the aisles
- Choose wisely: Try to pick the best possible foods from the different categories of the grocery store. Remember to look for the "good choice and great choice" smile labels on the price tags in Metro stores to help simplify healthy selections
- Try something new: Broaden your shopping horizon by choosing and cooking with fresh produce and ingredients that you've never tried before
"Metro Inc. developed the My Healthy Plate with Metro program in response to our research that revealed healthy eating is important to Ontarians," said Kathleen O'Hara, Director, Marketing & Communications, Metro Ontario Inc. "We want to make healthy shopping, and eating, a fun and simple experience that will enable Ontarians to prepare better meals without the stress that some feel when it comes to eating well."
Since the launch of the My Healthy Plate with Metro program in October of 2013, Metro has continued to grow the products that are identified as "good choices" and "great choices", as well as educate consumers on the program.
With annual sales of over $11 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is to satisfy their customers every day and earn their long-term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
*Survey based on Metro's Air Miles database of customers in Ontario. All respondents were 18+ and responsible for at least some of their grocery purchases.
SOURCE: METRO INC.
For further information: To arrange an interview with Cara Rosenbloom, Toronto-based registered dietitian and member of the Dietitians of Canada, during Nutrition Month, please contact: Amanda DiPasquale, GCI Group, [email protected], 416-486-5902