Orange County

“Shop With Your Doc” Program Teaches Healthy Grocery Shopping

Residents pair with doctors and nutritionists to learn about better food options.

The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows obesity is still dramatically rising in kids. One reason is that as families try to navigate their way through economic hardships, it is increasingly harder to shop for healthy food that is economical.

Now, one local group of hospitals is trying to make it easier, by having families shop with their doctors.

Fatty food with preservatives is cheaper and often easier to prepare, but St. Joseph Hoag Health in Anaheim is trying to help families think about healthier options. The "Shop with Your Doc" program launches Tuesday, Sept. 9, and pairs residents with doctors and nutritionists at supermarkets across Orange County.

At a preview of the event Monday, Ariceli Padilla said her family could use such a program to make some diet changes.

Padilla shops often with her son Gavin. As a busy small business owner and mother, she finds making the right choices challenging.

“It’s very difficult to know what to buy,” she said. She said her son’s tastes are also a challenge.

“I like beans and dip and potato chips and pretzels,” said Gavin, 7.

Dr. Jason Jilk joined the pair Monday, and said changing food habits is a way to make a larger difference to the community.

“We want to help them change habits, and to do so we are targeting the families who have little or no time to actually visit their doctors,” he said.

The first step is making wise choices.

“Read the labels carefully,” Jilk said. “There is a lot of misleading stuff.”

Especially in cans, frozen foods and packages, which are often high in salt and calories.

Better choices are the grocer’s area with meat, fish and poultry, Jilk said. The best choices are produce, which are high in vitamins and nutrition and likely to decrease the risk of some cancers.

The lessons from the excursion are needed, Araceli said.

“It’s a win-win situation, where I get healthy, and he gets what he wants to eat.”

The “Shop with Your Doc” program will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ralphs supermarket at 2030 E. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim and at Ralphs supermarket at 2741 W. MacArthur Blvd., Santa Ana; Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Food4Less at 2140 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana.

Contact Us