“Nudging” Your Clients to Pick Healthier Foods
Our goal is to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice for clients. Research has shown that small changes to the food distribution environment can greatly influence clients’ choices. These environmental cues or “nudges” include simple changes such as product placement, signage, appearance, and packaging. At Second Harvest, we hope to apply these nudges to our food distributions to help our clients pick healthier foods. If we can help clients pick more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy, we can influence their overall health and decrease their chances for chronic diseases.

Easy Nudges
1. Place healthy foods at the front—People are likely to take more when their cart is empty versus when it starts to fill up.
2. Cooking Demonstrations or Food Samples—These are especially helpful with more “strange” foods such as spaghetti squash or bok choy.
3. Recipes—Visit the Agency Zone on our website for great sources.
4. Signage—Make signs to tell people what it is. Also display pictures of healthy foods in waiting areas to prime clients to pick those foods.
5. Abundance—People are more likely to take food if there appears to be an abundance of it. Make sure crates are full and that produce appears attractive.
For more information watch this video: Nutrition and Health Strategies “Nudges”


Scroll down for our favorite recipes featured in our quarterly Partner Agency Newsletter

Cucumber Salad with Tomatoes

Adapted from Arizona Nutrition Network: Spring and Summer Cookbook
Serves: 4, 1 cup servings

2 cups cucumbers (diced)
1 cup tomato (seeded and diced)
¼ cup onion (chopped)
2 cups brown rice, cooked
2 teaspoons dill weed
½ cup Italian salad dressing, light

1. Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Chill for 1 hour and serve.

Southwestern Black-eyed Pea and Corn Salad

Serves: 10


  • 1 medium bell pepper 1 small red onion
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black-eyed peas 1 (15 oz) can corn kernels, no salt added
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


1) Dice bell pepper, removing core and seeds. Peel and dice onion.

2) Drain and rinse black-eyed peas and corn.

3) In a bowl, add pepper, onion, peas, corn, and remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Adapted from Cooking Matters at the Store

Snack Recipes

Peanut Butter Dip

  • 1 cup Greek or plain yogurt (you can also use vanilla flavored)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Honey, to taste (optional)

Mix yogurt and peanut butter together in a bowl. Add honey to desired sweetness and mix until everything is combined. Enjoy with fruit slices (like apples or bananas) or graham crackers.

Build-Your-Own Trail Mix

Combine nuts, dried fruit and something crunchy for a hearty snack. Examples include almonds, dried cranberries & Cheerios or peanuts, raisins & pretzels. Almonds and peanuts are usually the cheapest nuts you can purchase, or try store brand mixed nuts, which tend to be a little less pricey.

Baked Chicken with Vegetables

Makes: 6 servings
Total Cost: $6.45
Serving Cost: $1.07


  • 4 potatoes – sliced
  • 6 carrots – sliced
  • 1 large onion – quartered
  • 1 chicken – raw, skin removed, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes, carrots and onions in a large roasting pan.
  3. Put chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.
  4. Mix water, thyme and pepper. Pour over chicken and vegetables.
  5. Spoon juices over chicken once or twice during cooking.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour or more until browned and tender.


Sweet Potato Hash

•    1 pound potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
•    ½ cup onion, chopped into 1-inch cubes
•    ½ cup green pepper, chopped into 1-inch cubes
•    1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
•    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•    ¼ teaspoon salt
•    ¼ teaspoon pepper

1.    In a medium size bowl, mix potatoes, onions, green peppers and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Mix well.
2.    Pour vegetable oil in hot skillet.
3.    Spread potato mixture evenly in skillet.
4.    Cover and let cook for about 15 minutes. Stir potatoes and cover again for another 15 minutes.
5.    Potatoes are done when a fork can smash them easily.

Sizzling Rice and Chicken

Serves: 4
From Meeting My Plate Goals on a Budget


  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounces boneless chicken
  • 1 onion, cut (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 bell pepper, cut (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ½ cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)



  1. Mix soy sauce, water, honey and cornstarch in bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and sauté for one minute.
  3. Add chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Push to side of skillet.
  4. Add vegetables and cook until slightly tender. Push to sides of skillet.
  5. Pour soy sauce mixture into center of skillet. Stir sauce until it thickens.
  6. Mix in with chicken and vegetables.
  7. Serve over brown rice.

*Use vegetables you already have for this recipe. Try carrots, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, or cauliflower.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 410; Total Fat: 10 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Sodium: 580 mg; Carbohydrates: 49 g; Fiber: 6 g; Protein: 30 g

Want to Learn More?

Nutrition & Recipes





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