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Food for thought

Creston Hy-Vee nutritionist to help us think about what we eat.

Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 11:32 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, June 21, 2013 12:47 p.m. CDT

Labels can be confusing.

If you’ve ever wandered the grocery store wishing you had someone to help you navigate the aisles and make healthier choices, you are not alone.

With more scientific research, public awareness and interest on health and nutrition than every before, Creston Hy-Vee Store Director Chuck Irelan has taken notice.

“I just saw a need for it,” said Irelan.

On board

Creston Hy-Vee now has a nutritionist.

Shawna Manning. who has previously worked at Hy-Vee for three years was offered an internship after her recent graduation from Iowa State University.

“Right now I am working on an internship here,” said Manning. “I will become fully licensed in 2014.”

Manning’s role as Creston Hy-Vee’s nutirtionist will be to conduct store tours, perform demos, set-up displays and promote healthy and nutritious products within the store.

Specialty diets

Manning, who works with Hy-Vee’s regional licensed dietitian Staci Doering, can show parents and caregivers how to shop and prepare one meal to meet the dietary needs of everyone at the dinner table, by creating custom recipes and menus for family members who might also require special diets, such as low-sodium, lactose-intolerant and gluten-free.

“That way, we can point out foods that will work for their specific needs,” said Doering. “If they like, we can set up a specific meal plan for them.”

During Manning’s store tours, she can help customers interpret food labels, discover new food with a focus on health concerns, such as diabetes, cholesterol, sports nutrition, weight management, food allergies or provide meal ideas and tips on “stretching” your dollar.

Community outreach

In addition to helping individuals, Manning offers health presenations to businesses, as well.

“If businesses want us to participate in health fairs, we can do that, too,” said Doering.

Group presentations are $75 for an hour, plus the cost of food if samples or healthy snacks are requested.


Doering said Hy-Vee is working to promote living “easier, happier and healthier” lives.

To help people address dietary and health concerns, such as weight management, Manning and Doering offer in-store consultations to provide nutritional counseling.

“For weight management, we have the ‘Begin’ program,” said Doering.

Begin is a healthy lifestyle program that emphasizes eating for good health, weight loss and promotes physical activity to help with lifelong wellness.

During the Begin program, cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, weight and measurements are checked at start and finish to track each participant’s progress. Through the program, participants will learn how to prepare healthy meals, plus portion and hunger control.

If a person does not want to commit to a 10-week program, single one-on-one sessions are available for $25 per half hour.

“A session can be 30 minutes to an hour,” said Doering. “It just depends on the person and their needs.”

To view the full list of services offered by Hy-Vee, visit, email or call Doering at (641) 774-2121.

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