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Culturally-competent nutrition education

by Sydney Cain
Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM)

How can communication strategies and technologies provide under-served communities with culturally competent nutrition education? Grocery stores can introduce the importance of fruits and vegetables to their shoppers through an in-store demo table that offers samples of local fruits and vegetables currently in season.

For instance, one particular demonstration table may highlight the “red and orange” fruit and vegetable sub-group. The demo table kit would include: a banner with the campaign theme “Brighten Your Plate,” 50 highlighted vegetable cards (in this case, butternut squash), and three posters: an USDA choosemyplate.gov “Eating Smart” campaign poster, a secondary poster highlighting the importance of “Varying your Veggies,” and a third poster that provides consumers with an overview of the importance of the Red and Orange sub-group of fruits and vegetables.

This sub-group would be an excellent aspect of the food pyramid to highlight because it is believed that most people have already received the message about getting enough “greens,” while the red and orange vegetables are often overlooked and consumers are unaware that they are of equal nutritional value. Also, this category is ideal for specific regional audiences, such as Alaska natives in rural communities, because often green vegetables do not travel as well to these areas as sturdier squash, citrus fruits, and peppers.

Megan JefferyCulturally-competent nutrition education
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