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Birds Eye, a brand of Mountain Lakes, N.J.-based Pinnacle Foods Group, has introduced two initiatives that build upon its “Feed Kids Better” campaign. A first-ever “Share the Wonder” grant program and a “Wonder of Vegetables” study aim to help Americans learn to enjoy their vegetables.
The brand began its commitment to better childhood nutrition with Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign, a national effort to help end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Washington-based Share Our Strength and Birds Eye are inviting children and parents to find out how great vegetables by connecting them with the right food to lead active, healthy lives.
Share the Wonder gives financial rewards to nonprofit organizations that spur communities and kids to discover a love of vegetables. To kick off the program, Birds Eye awarded an honorary grant to The Food Trust, a Philadelphia-based community partner of Share Our Strength that works to enhance access to healthy, affordable food and to teach children and families about nutrition.
“At Birds Eye, we are heralding a new age of vegetable appreciation to help feed kids better,” noted Birds Eye VP of marketing Rodrigo Troni. “The Share the Wonder grant program allows us to recognize and reward organizations that are already helping their communities and children to discover the wonder of vegetables.”
The grant program is open to individuals applying on behalf of nonprofits or their equivalents. Those who wish to apply can visit www.Facebook.com/BirdsEyeVegetables through Aug. 26.
To find new ways to improve children’s nutrition,food psychologist Dr. Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University and president-elect of the Society for Nutrition Education, will lead the “Wonder of Vegetables” research to help influence Americans’ perceptions and behaviors in regard to veggies. Wansink’s research will probe kids’ attitudes and behaviors toward vegetables and look at new strategies to boost their desire to both eat and enjoy more vegetables.
“We are looking to unearth new approaches to help solve the woefully low intake of vegetables in this country,” explained Wansink. “One main focus will be on how to change children's perceptions about vegetables and motivate positive behavior change early on. With this information, we hope to inspire a new generation of vegetable lovers.”
Wansink's earlier research dealt with how immediate environment can shape eating habits and preferences in both children and adults. He has discovered that such simple changes as giving vegetables more appealing descriptions, enhancing vegetable visual cues by placing them in more attractive displays, and providing at least two vegetable options can increase vegetable appreciation and intake.