As a dietitian for the Hannaford supermarket chain, Joanne Heidkamp spends the bulk of her days prepping and serving samples of healthy snacks and helping shoppers in the Essex, South Burlington and Williston stores make nutritious and cost-effective decisions in the aisles. Another facet of her work is leading classes designed to teach kids and families about eating well. This month, Heidkamp — named a 2015 Supermarket Dietician of the Year by national nonprofit Produce for Better Health Foundation — will use the theme "Super Snacks" for her Kids in the Kitchen classes. She'll instill the message that "a snack is not a mini dessert," she explained, by helping kids assemble dishes like fruit-and-yogurt parfaits, flavored hummus and homemade energy bites. Students will pass around ingredients to gain exposure to different foods. Heidkamp, who's been a dietitian for 30 years, has this tip for moms and dads who want to instill good eating habits in their kids: "Parents are really important role models," she said. "If a child sees a parent enjoying a variety of foods, chances are, even if they go through a picky phase, they're going to be a more adventurous eater."
This month's free hour-long Hannaford Kids in the Kitchen classes will be offered on Thursday, July 26 at 10:30 a.m. in Williston (78 Marshall Ave.) and at 1:30 p.m. in Essex Junction (21A Essex Way) and on Friday, July 27, at 10:30 a.m. in South Burlington (218 Hannaford Drive). Preregister by emailing Joanne Heidkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org.