From The Nutritionist


      Lindsay Watts, MS, RDN
Author:
Lindsay Watts, MS, RDN

Share Good News About Food and Nutrition




Nothing kills the vibe at a party like letting people know you work in the nutrition profession. New acquaintances hide their plates or try to explain their food choices. Sometimes, I feel like I need to eat double the dessert just to put them at ease! As a dietitian, I want people to make healthy choices and ENJOY their lifestyle. How can we reframe our messages around healthy eating to be empowering and fun instead of discouraging? Even more importantly, how can our messaging extend beyond building knowledge and into spurring action? This month, I reflect on how food brands and a public health organization inspire consumers to take action with positivity.

Brands That Celebrate Positive Messaging

Over the past few years, I’ve learned a lot from our brands surrounding building a positive message. For example, Well Yes!® Sipping soups launched during my time at Campbell. This brand is built on positivity and saying “yes” to what’s good in life and in food. These sipping soups provide 20% or more of a person’s daily vegetable needs in a convenient package with interesting flavor combinations and simple ingredients. As Marketing Manager, RTS Soup, Pete Herron, shares, “We believe that truly good food should feed more than just your belly. It isn’t just about 'what’ you eat but ‘how’ food makes you feel. We want eating well to be easy, too. That’s why every Well Yes!® Sipping soup we make is built with simple, purposeful ingredients that taste amazing, with positive nutrition packed into every sip!"

Similarly, the iconic V8® brand was built on making vegetables delicious and accessible to everyone. Andres Romero, Sr. Brand Manager Marketing Beverage, shares, "The campaign focuses on highlighting the unquestionable power of plants. It shows how our portfolio provides a delicious array of plant-powered beverages that meet today’s consumers’ demanding lifestyles.”

Brands like these, recognize that many consumers are taking a more holistic approach to health. So, it’s important that we make products that provide positive nutrition and also make eating well convenient and enjoyable.

Turning Positive Messages into Action

Sharing a positive message is not enough. While the shift to positive messaging is important, it is the most impactful when coupled with actions. Tangible and simple behaviors that elicit an emotional connection resonate strongest with consumers and keep them moving in a positive direction.

The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is an organization committed to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Their Have A Plant® Movement aims to move people beyond knowledge into action. President and CEO, Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, explains, “There’s a difference between what people know about fruits and vegetables and what they actually feel and do. PBH’s recent behavioral research taps into the emotional connection people have with fruits and vegetables – for example fruits can be associated with feelings of joy and sweetness, while vegetables represent a sense of pride and intelligence. Have A Plant® provides an opportunity to arm influencers and industry to redefine how we talk about fruits and vegetables with consumers and tap into that emotional connection.”

The Have A Plant® Movement uses behavioral science to craft messaging around eating more fruits and vegetables. The result is an action-driven platform to help people move from knowing the benefits of fruits and veggies to actually eating more and tying the behavior to a positive emotional connection. Have A Plant® is an open invitation (and a less finger-wagging approach) to help make it easy for consumers to choose fruits and veggies first. Here’s a plan: Have A Plant®!

Focus on the Positive in Your Communications

Health professionals’ advice or messaging can model these positive communications. We can focus on what a food or behavior ADDS to someone’s life and share solutions that make it easier to reach their wellness goals. Instead of focusing on avoiding a negative health outcome like a disease, highlight a benefit behavior change can provide, like how exercise may promote better sleep or eating a variety of plant-based foods can add more fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. We can focus on the enjoyment a healthy behavior brings instead of the avoidance of a negative consequence.

Whether you are a nutrition professional or just known as the health guru in your personal groups, we all have a role to play in encouraging healthy behaviors. We can show people how healthy living can be accessible and enjoyable. Every behavior does not need to be perfect, as long as our overall lifestyles move in the right direction AND we’re happy getting there.


Cheers,

Lindsay


Lindsay’s Bio

Lindsay is a nutrition communications analyst at the Campbell Soup Company where she coordinates health professional and consumer communications. She also works with internal and external partners on retail health and wellness programs. Prior to her role at Campbell, Lindsay worked as an in-store retail dietitian. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University and completed her dietetic internship with Pennsylvania State University. Lindsay recently received her Master of Science in Health Communications and Marketing from Boston University.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.