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ShopRite fighting childhood obesity with KidsFit program

ShopRite has partnered with RWJBarnabas Health to launch a free nutrition and wellness education program available to children and families at ShopRite stores throughout New Jersey and beyond. Called KidsFit at ShopRite, the primary goal is preventing childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity can be prevented and controlled with proper nutrition and lifestyle modification, which will be taught as part of this initiative.nutri The RWJBarnabas Health and ShopRite dietitians — Molly Fallon of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Melanie Dwornik of ShopRite; Barbara Mintz of RWJBarnabas Health; and Kerri Likakis of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center — collaborated to bring KidsFit at ShopRite to life.

KidsFit at ShopRite is a free, six-session curriculum-based program taught by ShopRite’s team of in-store registered dietitians that provides children ages 7 to 10 and their families with ways to create simple, tasty recipes while discovering the nutritional benefits of different food groups. Culinary goodies, recipes, and fun giveaways are provided at each class, which are held at local ShopRite stores.

“As our mission is to keep people healthy and to serve as an innovative resource for the communities we serve, this partnership is a perfect match bringing together New Jersey’s largest and most prestigious retail grocery cooperative and the state’s finest health care system,” Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer of RWJBarnabas Health, said in a press release. “This partnership will allow both of our organizations to leverage resources to reach the youth of New Jersey and families and instill healthier eating and wellness habits. We are excited to partner with ShopRite to invest in health promotion, community outreach and overall wellness.”  

“Our team of registered dietitians developed the KidsFit program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey in 2007 to address the high rates of childhood obesity seen at our health clinic,” said Barbara Mintz, vice president for healthy living and community and employee engagement for RWJBarnabas Health.   “KidsFit is a highly successful, multi-disciplinary educational model that encourages healthy eating and exercise as a way to both prevent and treat childhood obesity.”

KidsFit at ShopRite will be led locally by ShopRite dietitians and includes an interactive program that features scavenger hunts through the stores, cooking classes, healthy recipes and nutrition and wellness tips for kids and families.

“We’re honored to work with RWJBarnabas Health to bring the award-winning KidsFit program to life in our stores,” Natalie Menza-Crowe, director of health and wellness at ShopRite, said in the release. “RWJBarnabas Health is a recognized leader in the health care industry and we’re proud to join forces with them to help fulfill our shared mission of working together to keep communities healthy. We strongly believe that KidsFit at ShopRite is a great program that will encourage and inspire lifelong healthy eating habits.”