Nutrition-focused digital platform helps you eat better, save money on groceries

Published March 24, 2014

Nutrition-focused digital platform helps you eat better, save money on groceries

Who doesn’t want to eat a little better and shop a little smarter?  Nutrition is a fundamental element of living a healthy life, but many of us let our better judgment go by the wayside when we’re pressed for time, or faced with having to cook or make that weekly trip to the grocery store.

That frozen pizza or drive-thru window sure have a way of looking appealing when you can’t think of a recipe to throw together at home, but your health (and your waistline) end up paying the price each time you opt for the greasy, sodium-filled easy way out.

All 37 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are committed to helping the communities we serve live healthier lives, and that includes using technology to develop innovative new ways to make living well easier to do.  Wondering what that means in practice?  Look no further than Premera Blue Cross’ new digital nutrition program, Serve It Up!

Serve It Up! is a free website and mobile app where you can search and share healthy recipes, find the most nutritious options when shopping, and lower your grocery bill with coupons.  Plus, it’s open to everyone, not just Premera Blue Cross Members!

Registered users become part of a community focused on discovering and sharing healthier ways to eat.  The “brains” powering the site is a “smart” shopping list builder that educates users about what foods are healthiest according to Guiding Stars’ patented nutrition star rating system. The shopping list database includes nutrition information for more than 100,000 fresh, prepared and pre-packaged food items commonly found in stores.  Coupons are also displayed for some foods identified as healthy choices.

After registering to become a Serve it Up! user, you can quickly scan recipes to see nutritional ratings of  ingredients, and calculate ingredient volume and quantity based on the desired yield.  Clicking on an ingredient listing reveals key facts and provides detailed nutritional info. Need to look up a grocery item’s nutritional info without having a specific recipe in mind?  Just use the Food Finder, where you can search food by brand, dietary restriction, star rating and more.

If you’re a time-challenged shopper, Serve it Up! is available as a mobile app via the App Store, so you can access your shopping list and ingredient info on the go! The app will also soon be available on Google Play.

As part of the Serve it Up! community, you can share recipes and shopping lists, post questions and answers on Serve it Up!’s bulletin board, and even compete for prizes in monthly recipe contests.

In partnership with Guiding Stars and Wellness Layers, Premera Blue Cross developed Serve it Up! to give its 1.8 million members easy-to-use resources for eating healthier.  According to Premera Blue Cross Member Engagement Director Neal Sofian, ““Serve it Up! is a testament to this commitment as the nutrition-focused, digital platform engages people in their health in ways they wouldn’t commonly expect from a health insurance company.”

The technology behind Serve it Up! was created by Wellness Layers, the premier developer of socially-rich portal ecosystems and mobile applications for the health and wellness industry. The Wellness Layers platform also powers online portals for several of the nation’s leading health and wellness brands.