FClogoThe Hospital’s Community Health Centre in partnership with the St. Vincent De Paul Society presents the FOODcents program to help families achieve a healthy diet and save money on their grocery shop.

The program is based on a simple concept. To have a healthy diet, people should spend most of their food money on the ‘eat most’ foods and spend least on the ‘eat least’ foods. The ‘eat most’ foods are often the cheapest, so using this spending model means more nutritious foods will be purchased and money will be saved.

Run by trained FOODcents Advisors, sessions are presented around three sessions – Eat Smart, Shop Smart and Cook Smart with each session providing hands on activities including a supermarket tour and cooking with handouts to take home.

Participants will find out how to balance their budget and diet, the true cost of food, reading food labels, the take on takeaway, school and work lunches, exploring your pantry, avoiding food waste and food safety.

FOODcents is free but places are limited so please call 5683 9780 to register your interest in the next course which will be advertised locally closer to the time.

Five out of six participants found the information provided in this program easy to understand and more than half felt they would use the information from the supermarket tour, budget and cooking sessions again and thought they would change how they shopped.

In a follow up three months after the FOODcents program, 71% now feel very confident they can buy healthy food on a budget and remembered to compared different products by price /kg comparison and 100% chosing the correct group of foods in which to spend the most on!

The number of serves of fruit per day participants consumed has significantly increased and the number of take-aways decreased with 86% recognizing the link between diet as a risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes & cancer.

Participant’s comments:

‘Not buying as many lollies now’

‘First time I have ever eaten avocado in my life’

‘First time for eating yogurt  – I used to go through 2 litres of ice-cream a fortnight, now replaced with yogurt’

‘Drinking more water now’

‘Not just eating junk food’

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