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Partnership for a Healthier America Recognizes Eight Companies for Setting a New Standard in the Marketplace to Promote Veggie Introduction for Young Children

Baby food manufacturers and early child care providers adopt Partnership for a Healthier America’s Veggies Early & Often icon, signaling that products or menus meet strict veggie-forward guidelines

August 31, 2021

Child eating veggie-forward baby food Washington, DCPartnership for a Healthier America, the premier national nonprofit working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of food equity, recognizes Happy Family Organics, KinderCare, Learning Care Group, lil’gourmets, Nurture Life, Square Baby, Tiny Organics, and Yumi for adopting PHA’s Veggies Early & Often icon on baby and toddler food packaging or early child care provider menus, setting a new standard in the marketplace for veggie-forward baby and toddler food products at all price points.

“Despite vegetables being absolutely critical to a healthy life, infants and toddlers don’t eat nearly enough of them,” said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. "Our new icon will make it easier for parents and caregivers to differentiate between baby and toddler foods with lots of veggies vs. trace amounts of them. That’s a game changer.”

The icon can be used by companies on packaging if products meet PHA’s Veggies Early & Often nutritional criteria, which are based on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

For an infant or toddler food product, meal, or menu item to use the Veggies Early & Often icon the baby or toddler food also must meet PHA’s rigorous standards:

  • Food products for infants and toddlers have >50% vegetables by weight
  • Meal products for infants and toddlers have >40% vegetables by weight
  • Product has no added salt or sugar and is free of artificial preservatives, flavors and dyes, non-nutritive sweeteners, stimulants, and depressants

All organizations and brands who adopt PHA’s Veggies Early & Often icon are improving the baby and toddler food landscape by:

  • Supporting the science that shows early childhood as a critical period for the development of taste preferences and healthy dietary patterns and a uniquely opportune time to cultivate vegetable acceptance
  • Increasing transparency in the baby and toddler food marketplace to help consumers differentiate veggie-forward options from options with a small percentage of vegetables
  • Accelerating consumer demand of veggie-forward items in the marketplace at all price points
  • Supporting parents and caregiver efforts to help young eaters grow to love a wide variety of vegetable flavors

The roll-out of PHA’s Veggies Early & Often icon in retail stores, through e-commerce, and at early child care providers nationwide, represents an important milestone for PHA’s growing coalition of more than a dozen food industry, medical professionals, and early childhood education partners.

In January 2021, PHA launched its Veggies Early & Often campaign in conjunction with the release of Yes, Kids CAN Learn to Love Veggies, a white paper with research analyzed by PHA showing that young eaters need repeated exposure to vegetables ‘early and often’ in order to grow to become adventurous eaters who enjoy veggies. Most young children fail to meet recommendations for vegetable intake, a regrettable fact given evidence analyzed by PHA in Yes, Kids CAN Learn to Love Veggies suggesting that the early years are a unique window of opportunity to cultivate healthy taste preferences and dietary patterns.

Through the Veggies Early & Often campaign, PHA works with food manufacturers, medical professionals, and early childhood educators to drive awareness of the importance of early veggie introduction and encourage more veggie-forward products in the marketplace.

PHA will continue to add new commitments from baby and toddler food manufacturers as well as early child care centers to increase veggie-forward options in the marketplace and in early child care providers.

To learn more about the Veggies Early & Often campaign, icon criteria, or PHA’s commitment to raising a generation of veggie lovers visit www.ahealthieramerica.org or email info@ahealthieramerica.org.


ABOUT PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), founded in partnership with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign in 2010, is the premier national nonprofit working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. PHA seeks partnerships that have the greatest potential to reduce health disparities. We do this using evidence-based approaches that drive systemic access to better food. In a decade of work, we have partnered with more than 300 corporations, convenience store chains, and distributors, hospitals, early childhood education centers, and SNAP-Ed implementing agencies, among others, in pursuit of our vision that all children grow up healthy and free from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

Media Contact: Meg Orciari, morciari@ahealthieramerica.org

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