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Reflection

1. Sarah Leahy
November 4, 2014- Cooking Matters at the Store, Shop Rite East Hartford, CT
This site was located on an urban/suburban line. The location of the store was in East
Hartford but was on the Glastonbury town line. Glastonbury is considered an affluent
town, while East Hartford is considered urban. Therefore, considering the location of the
store the demographics and population were quite mixed between SNAP and Non-SNAP
participants. The racial demographics were evenly mixed between African America,
Hispanic and Caucasian, . On the day we visited the grocery store it was senior day,
which means individuals over the age of 65 receive a 10% discount on their in-store
purchase. The largest population of individuals we saw were elderly. However, there
were also a large number of mothers with children because it was Election Day and
many schools did not have school that day. There were no language barriers or
challenges that needed to be dealt with.
2. Please describe the supervised practice placement/activity here, remembering that the planning
plays a role in the total experience. Please weave into your response the following:
A. ConnectionstotheNutritionCareProcess
i.
Assessment: At this location, the participants were recruited when they
entered the store. Anyone was eligible to participate in the program and they
were offered to receive a ten-dollar gift card and a reusable grocery bag. This
program was completely voluntary which made gaining participants difficult
at times even with the incentives. Many individuals thought they did not have
time to do the program or appeared uninterested in receiving nutritional
education. While some only participated because they wanted the free gift
card and did not want to hear any of the education information being
provided. The nutrition education being provided would be considered direct
because there was face-to-face interaction happening at each of the four food
group stations. The participants did receive a booklet with information that
was taught at each station and recipes. This could be considered indirect
nutrition education because they were able to bring the book home with them
and the information could be share with others who did not participate in the
program.
Potential issues that the participants might have had may make nutrition
education important was if they had never previously received any nutrition
education. This was the case with many of the individual we talked to, they
had never previously received nutrition education, but they did not want to say
this specifically to us. I believe that an appropriate learning model that could
be demonstrated at this program was the self-efficacy model. This learning
model is appropriate because it was up to the individual participants to choose
how much they received from this program. There were some individuals that
really took advantage of this opportunity and asked really great questions
about food and nutrition. While others did not really care about it at all and
would come up to the station with the books asking for a sticker before even

talking to us. I do not think the trantheoretical model or stages of change


model would be appropriate to use here because it is a one-time program that
lasted about ten minutes. There is not enough time to assess the individuals
participating in the program and determine if they are in a stage of change or
if change is even desired by the participants.
ii.

Diagnosis: (PES statement)


Food and nutrition related knowledge deficit related to age, socioeconomic
status, and current lifestyle behaviors and habits as evidenced by
participation in Cooking Matters at the Store program and questions asked
during rotation through food group stations.

iii.

Plan: We anticipated the Cooking Matters at the Store program to increase


individuals basic knowledge about each of the five food groups. The goal of
this program was to be located at the place where individuals buy their
groceries in hopes of influencing what they are buying and bring home to eat.
There were four stations, each with basic ideas to get the participants thinking
about what they buy and perhaps how they can shop and eat healthier. This
program will only increase the knowledge or change behaviors of the
individuals that are willing to engage and talk with the students at each of the
table. There were some people that were reluctant to talk because they thought
they already knew everything or had no desire to talk about the food they were
buying. The desired outcome for this program was to give the participants
basic information that will make them think while they shop how easy it is to
add vegetables to their meal, or alternative protein sources to meat.
The activity that was planned is very simple and interactive for the
participants. They signed up at the main booth and rotated through the four
stations/tables located through out the store, clearly marked with balloons.
The individuals they had to have a conversation with students at each of the
tables before they could get a sticker. After they received a sticker from each
station they were able to go back to the main table, fill out a quick survey and
receive their incentives of a gift card and reusable grocery bag.

iv.

Implementation: We arrived at the Shop Rite in East Hartford at 9:30 on


Tuesday morning. This day required all three-community groups and a group
of dietetic interns to man each of the stations. We met with Lindsey Gomez
the Shop Rite RD, and discussed what the plan was for today. She helped us to
figure out where we should set each table up and helped to us gather Shop
Rite brand products from the store shelves. On this day Sam and I were in
charge of the protein station, we set up the table to focus mainly on alternative
sources of protein other than meat. Each of us received a small booklet that
was provided by Cooking Matters and had talking points of what we should
touch on at each station. Our table was set up in the beginning of the meat
section of the grocery store, next to the bakery section. It was a good location
because almost everyone had to pass us on the way to the meat section when
coming from the produce section. We also grabbed a lot of people that had not

signed up for the program. We told them about it and sent them back to the
front of the store to participate. We set up our table with natural peanut butter,
lentils, bean (canned and dried), nuts, canned fish, canned chicken and an
empty carton of eggs. We also set up signs with the prices of different items
to show how affordable the alternative forms of protein can be compared to
meat, which can get very expensive. We especially were impressed with the
affordable price of Shop Rite natural peanut butter (only $2.50!! what a steal).
The program began around 10 oclock and the front desk recruited people
to participate in the program. We talked to the individuals that came to our
station, we were the second out of four. We would begin by asking the
participants how they got their protein; most said meat and we said that was
great but offered up some meat alternatives that are high in protein. We would
go through each of the items on the table asking if they ate any of them on a
regular basis. We were able to start some really good discussions about the
importance of protein at every meal and snack because it keeps you full
longer. After the participant let us go through our speech and stopped
answering our questions we would give them a sticker and point them to the
next table. The time went by very quickly we talked to a whole range of
individuals and talked about different topics of interest based on how engaged
the participant wanted to be. The program was suppose to go until 3, however
we ended early because we went through the 75 gift cards we had allotted for
that day. That means we talked to at least 75 people that day, however most
people were with one other person when they came to our table therefore we
most likely talked to more then the 75 gift cards we gave out. We then broke
down the tables and cleaned up the program before ending for the day.
v.

Evaluation/Modification: We were able to distribute evaluations when the


participants finished the Cooking Matters program. Before the participants
were able to receive their gift cards or reusable grocery bags they had to fill
out a survey to gather information about demographic of the information. It
also had an evaluation portion that asked what they learned during the
program and if they would participate in a program like this again. This was a
very effective way to gain feedback about the program and see if people
learned anything new while talking to the students. Unfortunately I was not at
this table and was not able to review the evaluations to determine the
percentage of individuals that learned something. I do know that our goal was
to have 75 participants in the four-hour period and we were able to meet our
goal in less time then that. I also got overall good verbal comments about the
program, saying that people learned a lot and that they enjoyed going to the
different stations. There were also people that participated that felt like they
already knew everything about nutrition and felt like it was a waste of their
time and only did it for the gift card. The evaluations that were filled out will
go back to Cooking Matters and allow them to determine the successfulness of
the program and if they would do it again at that location, and potential
changes to the program based on participants suggestions.

vi.

Lessons learned: I think that overall it was a very successful day! I enjoyed
being at the grocery store and being able to talk to individuals about what they
buy on a daily basis and talk about potential alternatives they would be will to
try out. One example of this was getting people to consider buying natural
peanut butter instead of the classic Skippy or Jiff that has added preservatives
in it. Many people we talked to were turned away by the natural peanut butter
because they do not like the oil on top; I gave them the suggestion to store the
peanut butter upside-down. This would allow the oil to rise to the bottom of
the jar so when you are ready to use it you can open it and the oil will be on
the bottom. Giving out simple tips like this made people stop and consider
how they would be able to make small simples changes in their diet. I also
really enjoyed that other people were able to teach me about what they eat at
home. I felt that this experience offered an appropriate environment to talk
with individuals about their food choices. There were some people that we
would only be able to talk to for a minute or two before they would want their
sticker so they could move on to the next station. There were also people that
would stay and talk to us for ten minutes discussing with us preparation of
their meals and asking for protein rich on-the-go snacks. I think that the open
discussion I was able to start with people is one of the reasons that this
experience was one of my favorites.

B. Competenciesyouaddressed/met:
CRD 2.3: Design, implement and evaluate presentations to a target audience (Note: A quality
presentation considers life experiences, cultural diversity and educational background of the
target audience.)
At the Cooking matters at the Store program we had to develop a small presentation to
present to the target audience of grocery shoppers at Shop Rite. The presentation I
created was about low cost protein foods and alternatives to eating meat every day. We
had to talk to individuals based on cultural diversity, age, life experiences, education and
socioeconomic status. There were some people that arrived at our station that claimed to
know everything around nutrition and other people that did not even know what protein
was.
CRD 2.4: Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change
At this site I worked to use appropriate education and counseling skills to talk to the
participants. I worked to use open-ended questions and avoided using close-ended
questions. The open-ended questions allowed for the start of a conversation with the
individuals that were open and wanted to talk.
CRD 2.5: Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in-group settings
This site was an excellent example of teamwork and a group working together. This site
required all of the community groups and the dietetic interns to work together. Each of
us was responsible for a table and providing nutrition education to the program
participants.

CRD 3.1: Perform the Nutrition Care Process (a through e below) and use standardized nutrition
language for individuals, groups and populations of differing ages and health status, in a variety
of settings
In questions 2A above we made a connections between a community experience and the
nutrition care processes. We related the steps of the nutrition care process from
assessment to evaluation and learning at the Cooking Matters at the Store program
CRD 3.3: Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health,
wellness and lifestyle management (Note: Students/interns should consider health messages and
interventions that integrate the consumers desire for taste, convenience and economy with the
need for nutrition, food safety.)
During this experience we were required to deliver messages about consumer health,
wellness and lifestyle management. The participants were given a booklet with different
information and recipes in it. We were able to go through these booklets with come of the
participants discussing the different points we discussed at the protein table.
CRD 3.4: Deliver respectful, science-based answers to consumer questions concerning emerging
trends
At this site and being at the protein station we did et several questions about what protein
is and why it is so important to eat. We were able to talk to the consumers about the
importance of protein at every meal and at snacks to keep them full for a longer period of
time. People also asked about high protein diet like the Atkins that promotes almost only
eating protein rich foods. We were emphasized the importance of a well balanced diet
that was composed of all five food groups. We said that too much of anything in the diet
can be dangerous and that everything should be eaten in moderation. Also for the few
individuals that asked me about diets I said it as very important to consult was a MD and
RD before beginning on any diet regiment.

C.Connectionstoclasslecturenotes:
Inclasswediscussedtheprocessofnutritioneducationandhowithaschangedover
theyears,becomingmoreadaptedfortheconsumer.Itisimportantforeducationtobe
straightforwardandsimpleinaworldwherenutritioninformationisalwayschanging.In
classwelearnedaboutwhatitmeanstobeanutritioneducatorandthemanydifferent
thingsweneedtoconsiderwheninthecommunitysetting.Itisimportanttokeepinmind
theaudience,thesetting,thescopeandcontentoftheinformationbeingprovided,andif
anactivitywouldbeappropriatetoenforcetheinformation.WhileatthegrocerystoreI
thoughtthatwedidallofthesethings.Wekepttheaudienceinmindandtriedtobase
whatwetalkedaboutwitheachclientbasedonwhattheywouldsay.Wealwaysstarted
withanopenendedquestiontogetthemtalkingaboutwhattheyliketoeat,freeof
judgment.Imadesuretokeepinmyroleasanutritioneducatorandbesensitivetothe
languageandinformationIwasproviding.Ithinkitisveryimportanttoconsiderthe
education,socioeconomicstatusandcultureoftheindividualsweweretalkingto.Oneof
thereasonsIenjoyedworkingattheproteintablewasbeingabletolookatthelowcost
proteinfoodoptionsavailable.Ialsolikedthateverythingthatwewerepromotingatour
tablecouldbepurchasedfor3dollarsandunder.Itwasgreattobeabletogetimportant
nutritioninformationacrosstopeopleofdifferentages,populationsandallowingmeto
teachmyknowledgeofnutritioninthecommunity.
D.Yourperceivedvalueandworth:
TheforthemostpartIthinktheparticipantsreallyenjoyedtheprogramandI
thinktheywerereallyabletolearnalot.Theoveralllayoutoftheprogramwasvery
effective,didnottakeuptoomuchoftheirtimeorprovidethemwithanoverwhelming
amountofinformation.Itallowedtheparticipantstospendasmuchtimeastheychoose
witheachstationandaskthestudentsanyquestionstheyhad.AtmystationsIfeltlikeI
wasactuallyabletoteachpeoplesomethingnew,evenifitwasalittleasstandingthe
peanutbutterjarupsidedown.Ilikethisdaybecauseitwasveryinteractiveandthere
washardlyanydowntime.Iwasbusytheentiretimeengagingandtalkingtodifferent
people,whichincreasedmyfeelingofvalueandselfworthatthissite.
E.Sitementorperceivedvalueandworth:
Oursitementorsatthissitewereyou(Tina),DonnaandKayla.Forthemost
partthesitementorsstayedatthefronttablehelpingtorecruitandregisterindividualsfor
theprogram.Theydidhoweverwalkaroundthroughoutthedayandcheckintomake
surewedidnothaveanyquestionsandthateverythingwasgoingokay.Followingthe
programtheyhadverypositivefeedbackfromtheprogramparticipantssayingthatthey
learnedalotandmostofthemreallyenjoyedthem.TheShopRiteRD,LindseyGomez,
alsocheckedinwithusthroughoutthedaytomakesureeverythingwasrunning
smoothly.
3. What did you gain from the experience that speaks to your growth and development as a
community nutritionist? In what ways are you feeling increasingly competent?

I have already touched on this a bit in the above questions. However, I feel like this
experience has assisted in my growth and development of becoming a community
nutritionist. This opportunity has helped me to develop my communication skills with
the participants of this program. I was not able to just sit back, I had to be assertive and
talk to the different people that came to my station. I was also able to work on some of
my counseling skills by making sure I was asking open-ended questions and avoiding
close-ended questions. I goal was to work on my communication skill and attempt to get
a conversation started with every one that come to the table, even if it was only a
question or two they had to answer. This experience also helped me develop my teaching
skills and coming up with answers to people questions quickly and appropriately. There
were also times when people asked me specific questions about their health and I had to
appropriately decline answering their questions because I knew that was out of my scope
of practice. It has helped me to become comfortable reaching out to people and
developing teaching materials that are applicable for all ages, education levels and
socioeconomic status.

4. What would you tell your dietetics undergraduate colleagues as they anticipate teaching at
this site? What words of wisdom can you impart?
I would give my fellow dietetics undergraduate colleagues the advice to make the most
out of this experience. It was a great opportunity that allowed me to talk to a lot of
different people from all walks of life. I think that I enjoyed this day so much because I
was so open to talking to people about all different topics. I think it is important that you
are not afraid to put yourself out there a little when talking with people and ask them
questions. It is important in the community to first discover what information they
already know and what information you will be able to teach them in the short amount of
time you have. This site was not able providing an entire lesson to the participants but it
was hopefully empowering them to make one or two small changes while they are at the
grocery store that could potentially trickle into other aspects of their every day life.