New virtual grocery store helps families make healthier choices

Staff writer
April 3, 2013 01:00 AM

A new virtual grocery shopping tool designed by provincial nutritionists in collaboration with major B.C. grocery retailers is helping British Columbians make the best food choices for their families.

Shopping Sense provides a multimedia experience for shoppers and is supported by grocery chains Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Real Canadian Superstore, Save-On-Foods and MarketPlace IGA. The five retailers recognize the need to help families plan and prepare healthy, affordable meals before they step foot in the grocery store. The chains are showing their support with the option of promoting the tool through

in-store flyers, digital newsletters, social media and on their websites.

"We are providing families with the tools to plan healthy meals," said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. "Planning ahead before grocery shopping is one way that we are helping to make the healthy choice the easy choice. And it's great that we have our grocery retailers' support."

The Shopping Sense tool - found at - is a new addition to the Healthy Families BC website. The site provides an experience that mirrors an in-store, dietitian-led tour, helping families plan meals, prepare budgets and develop safe food-handling practices.

Evidence shows that physical activity and healthy eating can prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases that take a huge toll on lives and on our health-care budget-and this pays great dividends for patients and the health-care system. Reducing sodium and sugary drink consumption and increasing fruits and vegetables in family meals are key strategies British Columbians can adopt to promote their good health.

Healthy Families BC is a public-health strategy that focuses on health improvement for British Columbian families and their communities. Other on-line resources include Sodium Sense and Sugary Drink Sense, helping people learn to identify lower sodium and sugar options, so they can make healthier eating choices in real life.

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