August 24, 2022
Small community stores, such as convenience stores, are convenient places to purchase simple groceries. However, smaller stores often have limited inventory, especially for nutritious options. The school wellness programs of Cooking Matters Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center engaged with three convenience stores in Denver to pilot a SNAP-Ed campaign designed to improve healthy eating. The campaign focused on step-by-step recipe frameworks and offered supportive, educational and practical examples for a flexible approach to recipes that resonate better with community members. Recipe frameworks are rooted in the understanding that recipes do not need to be strictly followed but can serve as a general formula to be adjusted according to budget, needs and preferences.
For this campaign, SNAP-Ed worked with locally owned neighborhood convenience stores that demonstrated their commitment to stocking nutritious food. The stores highlighted nutritious items and provided educational resources with tips on how foods can be combined to make healthy meals to suit different preferences and budgets. The campaign introduced the concept of step-by-step recipe frames, with frames ranging from single dishes to cereal bowls. The frames included information about the health benefits of different ingredients. Printed resources were shared in stores near checkouts. Text messages were sent through Colorado’s Text2LiveHealthy intervention to extend the reach of the campaign. About 3,000 SMS subscribers received campaign messages in English and Spanish. Ninety-two percent of subscribers found the flexible step-by-step recipe posts helpful, and 93 percent found them easy or very easy to follow.
The Recipe Framework campaign has been well received by community members, Text2LiveHealthy subscribers and store owners. As one store owner noted: “Customers love the recipes they leave and take away and many also ask me about the posters, I love this program. Thanks for the help.” [Clients like the recipe cards; they usually grab one, and many also ask me about the posters. I really enjoy this program. Thank you for helping.]
Next steps for this partnership include introducing in-store signage and other nudges to encourage healthy choices and possibly expanding to other stores across the state.
Try your own bowl of cereal with this recipe frame!
Food and nutrition Nutrition security