Health & Wellness

Eat Healthy Together: Happy Healthy Spring Rolls

Now that summer is officially here, I find the heat has this magical power of bringing my family closer together.  We spend more time outside doing fun water activities, or having dinner on our patio as the warm breeze dances around us.  Usually I would be thrilled to serve a robust salad loaded with a bounty of vegetables, but my son doesn’t seem to find the idea of a salad a great choice.  I think it’s the raw vegetables in a bowl that makes him turn his nose up to the hot sun in dismay. The thing is, I had to find a way to get him to eat his vegetables. 

Eat Healthy Together: Spring Roll


I’ve tried several different approaches to the vegetable coaxing, and have come up short time and time again. As a last attempt, I decided to get his little hands involved in the process, and made our mainly raw vegetable dinner interactive. I thought of spring rolls solely based on the fact that they are super light and fresh (perfect for the heat), require no stove time, and my boy and I can make them together. 

I put this idea to the test several days ago, and started by going down the international aisle at Walmart. I found the rice wrappers there and showed them to my son. He was intrigued by their firmness, and tickled at the fact that he would be able to dip them in water and they would become soft. I told him we needed to find food to put inside, but it could only be vegetables and meat. After about a second of pondering the idea, he agreed. I said to him we would use carrots and cucumber (which are two veggies he eats already), and then I slipped in some other vegetables that I wanted him to try.

Eat Healthy Together: Spring Roll


We got home, and I laid out all the ingredients on a plate, and placed a big bowl of water in front of him so he could start dipping the wrappers. This experiment worked like a charm. He loved making the rolls and we had dinner in the patio that night.  No complaints.

This recipe will work with any vegetables you would like to roll.  Here’s what I used.


Ingredients for spring rolls:

  • 10 rice wrappers
  • 40 cooked shrimp (cleaned, deveined and tail removed)
  • 10 green lettuce leaves (rib removed)
  • 10 portobello mushroom slices (1/2-inch thick)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 5 teaspoons salted peanuts
  • 10 carrot sticks (1/4-inch thick)
  • 10 cucumber sticks (1/4-inch thick)
  • 10 yellow bell pepper strips (1/4-inch thick)
  • 10 red bell pepper strips (1/4-inch thick)
  • 10 sprigs of cilantro leaves


Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon peanuts (crushed)
  • a pinch of chile flakes (the kind you put on pizza)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons rice vinegar


Directions:

  1. Fill a large bowl halfway with warm water.

  2. Dip a single rice wrapper into the warm water until it starts to soften, and becomes bendable. About 15 to 30 seconds.

  3. Remove rice wrapper from water and lay on a flat, clean work surface. 

  4. Place 3 or 4 shrimp in the center of the wrapper.

  5. Then top shrimp with a leaf of lettuce, a portobello mushroom slice, a pinch of purple cabbage, ½ teaspoon salted peanuts, 1 carrot stick, 1 cucumber stick, 1 yellow bell pepper strip, 1 red bell pepper strip, and a sprig of cilantro.

  6. Fold one end of the rice paper over the shrimp and vegetables, then fold the opposite side as well. 

  7. Fold the right side of the rice wrapper over the food, and roll it closed. 

  8. Place on a dish and repeat with remaining wrappers, shrimp, and veggies.

  9. To make the sauce: Combine all ingredients for sauce in a bowl and mix well. 

Serve by spooning or dipping spring rolls into sauce. Enjoy! 

Walmart Mom blogger Nicole Presley is a Mexican-American gal obsessed with food. She has an original recipe blog called Presley’s Pantry that is packed with sweet desserts and a tribe of Mexican food dishes.

Join Walmart's Eat Healthy Together Challenge for a chance to win a $25 Walmart gift card. Learn more at: foundation.walmart.com/eathealthytogether.

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Opportunity

Meet Bruce, the Big Cheese in Boise

Mention Idaho and most people think of potatoes, but the state also produces a massive amount of milk. In fact, it’s No. 4 in the U.S. for milk production and No. 3 for cheese. No wonder Bruce Payne takes so much pride in his job as dairy manager at the Walmart supercenter on Overland Road in Boise.

Bruce started working in the dairy department 10 years ago. He moved to grocery for a while, but when the store needed a new dairy manager, he stepped up. That was eight years ago, and he’s loved it ever since. All of the milk his store sells is local, and Bruce makes sure his displays feature locally made cheese. His pride shows not only in the products, but also in the way Bruce’s team works together to make their section of the store the best it can be.

“This job is what you make of it. My manager started as a cart pusher, and all of our assistant managers started on the ground floor. If you stay focused … and look around to see what you can do to grow, you can make something of it,” Bruce said. “We’re here 40 hours a week, so I figure we may as well enjoy what we’re doing and make a positive impact. We’re a family – a team.”

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Health & Wellness

Fresh, Fast and Fun: Stay on Track with Produce Hacks

As the freshness of a new year wears away, so can those changes we laid out for our diets. No one wants to eat healthy food if it doesn’t taste good. And sometimes throwing together a salad for tomorrow’s lunch is the last thing we want to do at the end of a long day.

But when we take a look at food trends and what our customers are buying, we see a couple of things that help keep the diet momentum going: easy options that free up time, and, when there’s a few extra minutes to make cooking fun, new ways of giving healthier selections a gourmet touch.

With that in mind, here are some choices that are gaining steam – and you can work them into your routine simply by spending a few extra minutes in the produce section.

Brussels sprouts. Strong in flavor and smell, Brussels sprouts have long been that vegetable many people love to hate. But sales of Brussels sprouts are growing for retailers as customers are drawn to new ways of preparing them. Roasting or grilling and adding a pop of flavor like balsamic vinegar or garlic makes them seem decadent.

RecipeCards_Brussel Sprouts w Yogurt Drizzle
Spaghetti squash or spiral-cut zucchini. Have you ever heard of a zoodle? If you got a spiral slicer as a holiday gift, you’re probably aware that zucchini is becoming increasingly popular as a pasta replacement. Spaghetti squash, too, is a delicious alternative to dishes that call for noodles.

Cauliflower. From pizza crust to a mashed potato stand-in, cauliflower is growing out of its standing as a bland, forgotten salad ingredient. If you’d rather not use it in place of one of these carbs, try cutting a head of it into large slices and grilling it like a steak.

Chopped salad. When you don’t have a huge lettuce leaf to chase around your plate or, later, shove awkwardly in your mouth, a salad becomes much easier to eat. Imagine everything you’d want in a salad, processed in a chopper – that’s a chopped salad. It’s simple to make and store in the fridge, and we’re seeing customers prepare more of them.

RecipeCards_Convenient Chopped Salad

Salad kits and bowls. If you spend any time on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen the Mason jar salad concept. Here’s how our customers are eating healthier and saving more time: Purchasing single-serve ready-to-eat salad bowls, which include a protein, the dressing and a disposable fork. Also popular are salad kits, which have everything in the bag except a main protein. Just shake into a bowl and you’ve got a fresh side dish for the whole family.

Premium juice. If you don’t have a juicer – or the time to use one – you’ll find prepared juices right next to the produce in select Walmart stores. These aren’t the fruit cocktail variety (mixed juices are available in the dairy department) but instead are very pure, unprocessed and premium in nature.

Kale. This leafy green has been surging in popularity for a few years now, and it’s not going away. A few years ago you’d find just a couple of kale options in our stores; today we offer it in salad blends, plus readymade kale chips, dips and more. It’s a super food that’s also super versatile.

RecipeCards_Crunchy Kale Salad

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U.S. Manufacturing

A Simple Sponge, and My Second Chance

I’ll never forget the day in 2003 when everything went red. I was in my 30s, watching television with a friend in my living room when it happened. Three surgeries and several weeks later, I was declared legally blind.

While it happened quickly, it wasn’t completely unexpected. I had been diagnosed with diabetes back in Jamaica and couldn't afford the proper medication, which led to my vision loss. So I found myself trying to navigate life without the benefit of eyesight and, soon, without my husband, who left me. It was just my daughter and me. Years later, I moved to New York City in search of opportunity, but questioned whether I'd made the right decision after going unemployed for more than three years. That changed when I found National Industries for the Blind.

Pauline Doling at Sewing Machine

Statistics show more than 70% of the more than 4 million legally blind adults in the U.S. are not employed. As the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind, NIB is working to change those statistics, and my story is one example. Eight years ago, I discovered New York City Industries for the Blind, which later became Alphapointe, one of NIB’s associated nonprofit agencies. I began manufacturing SKILCRAFT® Speedy Scrubber sponges at Alphapointe’s facility in Brooklyn. And I’ve been counting my blessings ever since.

All of a sudden, I had a steady income. I wasn’t wondering how I was going to pay my bills and support my daughter. I take great pride in operating my sewing machine on the manufacturing line because I know the military and government customers who use our product depend on us for quality. In May, we were excited when our sponges began hitting the shelves of select Walmart stores throughout the Northeast as part of the retailer’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing. I’m part of a team with more than 100 employees, each one legally blind, just like me.

Man at Sewing Machine

NIB and Alphapointe believed in me, and that’s the second chance I was looking for. I’m confident again and I have a support system around me. I’ve made friends for a lifetime – friends I go out to dinner with and hang out with on the weekends. I even met the love of my life, Ronnie McNeil, here. We were married earlier this month, which kind of completes my dream come true.

For more than 76 years, NIB has created jobs for people who are blind through the sale of thousands of SKILCRAFT products. The Speedy Scrubber sponges are manufactured by people who are blind working at Alphapointe – one of 95 nonprofit agencies associated with NIB – in its Brooklyn facility. 

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Innovation

In the Baby Department, a Mom’s Work is Never Done

Have you ever heard of tooth wipes? If you’ve never brought home a baby, then probably not – unless you’ve shopped for a gift for a first-time mom and noticed such a lesser-known item on her gift registry.

New parents tend to over-prepare because they’re nervous to get everything right. I know this firsthand because two years ago, I had my first son. And I thought I needed every possible item to take care of him – including tooth wipes.

So many of us are familiar with this feeling, and for me, it’s a life experience that translates well to my day job overseeing baby merchandise at Walmart. My team takes care of people in the happiest, but also the most stressful time of their lives. We’re constantly asking ourselves, how can we make that easier? One key – but coincidental – way is that many of the associates on the baby team have intuition from parenting babies and young children themselves.

Diana Marshall with Son

These perspectives have helped us make simple, but important changes to our assortment – like ensuring our customers can find popular brands like Britax and Plum Organics, and launching Urbini exclusively at Walmart. (It also applies to items like tooth wipes. When I needed them two years ago, Walmart didn’t carry them. Now we do, and they are even assembled in the U.S.!) Our parenting experience has also given us ideas to take to our suppliers that address important concerns, like a car seat with technology that alerts you when your child is still in the back seat if the ignition is switched off.

Talking to our customers, we see our personal insights proven right in many different scenarios. First-time moms like me want everything perfect and brand-name, while second-time moms tend to focus on just getting through the day. Second-time moms also concentrate more on functionality, which applies to their shopping experience, too. They’ve reduced the places they shop from a handful to only a couple, meaning convenience is important. That’s one reason we’ve expanded our assortment not just in-store but also online, and we’ve recently updated our baby registry to be easily accessible with the Walmart mobile app. I love now being able to shop for friends using my phone whether I’m in the store or in transit somewhere.

Smart Phone showing Gift and Baby Registry App

Research has shown my team that the needs of moms globally are really the same: They all want the very best for their children. I love that we’re able to provide that not just from business experience, but from personal experience, too. We’re able to learn about products and what works well, and then influence that for other parents. Just a few months ago, I took home all the diapers Walmart carries to try on my son and then gave feedback to our suppliers on quality. It helps to be so close to the category to be able to improve our assortment and customer experience.

It’s an intriguing circle, how many of my team members’ jobs influence our parenting and how being parents influences our jobs. Whether it’s updating our mobile registry, adding distinct items like tooth wipes, or ensuring we carry great private-label options like the Parent’s Choice training pants we just launched in partnership with Dreamworks, we’re working hard to make the hardest job in the world – parenting – a little easier.

You can read more about Walmart’s expanded assortment of baby products and services here.    

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