For my retail marketing event, I came up with a concept I am calling, ‘Turn that Healthy Plate into a Meal.’ Multiple patients during my clinical rotation mentioned that, although the MyPlate handouts that we shared with them helped them understand portion sizes, they still weren’t quite sure how to make a meal out of it. I decided to make a handout to complement the MyPlate diagram, which lists out options under each category. I included three simple tips: choose whole food sources, stick to the portion sizes, and add ‘extras’ (like nuts, herbs, dressings) for more flavor, crunch, and pop in meals.
The meal I chose to serve for this event represents the healthy plate really well. Thanks to a fabulous cohort of foodie nutrition students during my master’s program, together we fine-tuned this recipe into a beautiful dish representing many flavors, colors, and textures while keeping to our whole foods, local, seasonal philosophy. This dish really needs a name because the title is really long when all the ingredients are listed out! Black rice, baby arugula, roasted red and golden beets, garbanzo beans, strawberries and pumpkin seeds, mixed with a zesty lemon and mint dressing. It’s a fabulous vegetarian meal, or it can be topped with fish, chicken, or even beef skewers for a heartier dish.
I made the recipe at home and brought it into the weekly managers meeting at the hospital, where everyone tried it and approved. Next week, we will be serving it at the hospital dining room as the showcase recipe where I will be offering samples of the dish to dining room customers, discussing all the different ways one can make a healthy plate, and handing out my ‘Healthy Plate’ flyers, along with the recipe.
Because the managers enjoyed the dish, they suggested serving it as a grab and go item available in the cafeteria throughout the month. Ideally, it will even be requested beyond the month, and could become a standard lunch time offering.
It has been pretty exciting to bring in a recipe that I love and to feel supported by the food service management team as well. They have given me a lot of freedom with recipe creation and graphics, and they have also given me the responsibility of costing, portioning, ordering and marketing the event, all of which really inspired ownership and led me to calling it an ‘event’ rather than just an assignment.
Wish me luck!