"Veggies Early & Often" Icon Updated to Create More Transparency in the Marketplace
July 14, 2022
Partnership for a Healthier America’s updated icon will make it easier for consumers to identify what products or menu items meet strict “veggie-forward” guidelines for babies and toddlers
WASHINGTON, DC – To increase vegetable consumption among young children, and to help parents and caregivers differentiate “veggie-forward” options from options with a small percentage of vegetables, Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) has updated its “Veggies Early & Often” icon so that companies can easily adopt it on packaging or menus if a product meets PHA’s strict “Veggies Early & Often” nutritional criteria.
“During the critical early years, kids need access to real vegetables and parents and caregivers need the tools and information to introduce them in a way that builds healthy habits,” said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. “Our updated ‘Veggies Early & Often’ icon will help increase transparency in the baby and toddler food marketplace paving the way for a healthier and more equitable food environment for our littlest eaters.”
Products or menu items approved to use the “Veggies Early & Often” icon contain over 50% vegetables and no additives. Currently, over 150 products from seven different companies meet PHA’ strict “Veggies Early & Often” icon requirements, which are based on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Additionally, two national early childhood education centers have collectively reformulated 39 of their menu items to meet the icon’s requirements. See the updated icon HERE.
Only 10% of young children meet recommendations for vegetable intake, a regrettable fact given evidence analyzed by PHA in the paper, 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.
According to a recent PHA and partner survey of parents, 94% of parents say it is very important to them to raise an adventurous eater who learns to enjoy vegetables. Additionally, 99% of parents are looking to food companies to support their efforts in raising healthy eaters.
Parent and caregiver efforts to provide veggie-forward diets to young children can either be supported or hampered by offerings in the baby and toddler food marketplace. The updated icon aims to help parents and caregivers clearly identify products and menu items that deliver on their veggie promise.
The icon, which was originally launched in January of 2021, is a critical component of PHA’s “Veggies Early & Often” campaign that brings together industry leaders, health professionals, early childhood educators, parents, and caregivers to raise a generation of veggie lovers by prioritizing innovative approaches to introduce and sustain the consumption of a variety of vegetables that children accept and enjoy.
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, the icon’s criteria, or PHA’s commitment to raising a generation of veggie lovers visit www.ahealthieramerica.org or email email@example.com.
ABOUT PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA
Partnership for a Healthier America is the premier national nonprofit organization working to create lasting, systemic changes that transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. PHA develops evidence-based approaches that are implemented in partnership with the private sector, nonprofits, and government, leveraging PHA’s assets and the partner’s knowledge to accelerate the pace of transformation.
Media Contact: Megan Orciari, firstname.lastname@example.org