Blythedale Children’s Hospital & Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well Program, Feeding Westchester (formerly Food Bank for Westchester) and the Mt. Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry are piloting a new food nudging program.

This week the partnering organizations began implementing food "nudges" - or symbols - on bilingual signage, posters and other materials to highlight healthy food options for clients. 

"It takes the burden off clients to acquire nutrition and health information in the selection of food items," said Marie Roth, R.D., lead dietitian for Blythedale Children’s Hospital & Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well Program. "It reduces any type of knowledge and skill barriers."

The new initiative emphasizes low sodium, low sugar, and high fiber options, as well as whole grains, iron-rich foods and a variety of other healthy choices. In addition, the program can help promote well-balanced food selections over time, create a more personal connection with pantry clients and identify the role of food choice in disease prevention and management.

"Clients can come through the food pantry and look for these signs and know which food choices are better for them in each of the categories, "said Roberta Horowitz, Director of Operations and Programs for Mt. Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry. 

After the pilot evaluation, the food nudging program is scheduled to roll out into other "choice-based model" pantries throughout Westchester County.

Kohl’s Cares provides funding to help Blythedale Children’s Hospital in its efforts to educate 10,000 children and 60,000 low-income individuals via classroom instruction, community events and collaborative endeavors with food pantries by August 2019.