Tracey Higgins is an accredited practising dietitian, with 15 years experience in private practice and community health.
We asked Tracey what drives her to volunteer with Diabetes Victoria as a supermarket tour guide.
Here is Tracey’s story:
After being in the banking industry for 10 years I wanted a change. I had a big Interest in nutrition and helping people. After lots of study – while running around after 2 young children – I received my qualification.
I think supermarket tours are important because it gives our clients a space to ask questions and find out information in a real supermarket environment. This makes it easier to remember what we discuss, which helps with behaviour change. It’s like a trial run before doing a real shop.
I personally love running group workshops where clients can bounce ideas and experiences off each other, so the supermarket tours are an extension of this.
At a typical supermarket tour, there will be between 2 and 6 of us. We wander strategically around the supermarket discussing supermarket layout, healthy versus less healthy options and label reading – while asking and answering with lots of questions.
A thorough tour takes about 2 hours – so be ready with the energy and bring some water.
In addition to the new knowledge someone receives from going on a supermarket tour, there is also a real benefit for their families, and by extension, their friends and local community.
Some of my favourite times are the great ‘aha’ moments when people understand what to look for on labels and why something might be a healthier choice.
I enjoy receiving the verbal feedback when I see a client at a later date and they tell me that they changed at least a few things in their weekly shop, such as type of bread, cereal or cracker biscuits.
In my next blog post, I will be discussing some common misconceptions about ‘healthy’ foods at supermarkets and provide my top tips for a successful supermarket shop.
To book a supermarket tour in your local community visit our website