The Importance of Veggies Early and Often

Through Veggies Early & Often, PHA is convening leaders in industry, health professionals and early childhood education to consolidate evidence and outline an action agenda with the goal to raise a generation of veggie lovers.

Most young children fail to meet recommendations for vegetable intake, a regrettable fact given evidence suggesting that the early years are a unique window of opportunity to cultivate healthy taste preferences and dietary patterns.

PHA designed this nutrition education campaign with a cross-sector group of a dozen inaugural partners to align on the evidence that supports why young eaters need vegetables early in life.

Throughout 2021, PHA will:

  • Consolidate the science behind why “veggies early and often” matters.

  • Host conversations to discuss innovative approaches to increase and sustain consumption of vegetables among young children.

  • Share the positive, science-based message that kids CAN learn to love veggies.

  • Showcase brands and organizations who adopt PHA’s “Veggies Early & Often” as a reliable indicator for parents and caregivers of veggie-forward products and approaches.

  • Announce new partnerships to increase veggie-forward product options in the marketplace at all price points.

Only 10% of children consume the daily recommended amounts of vegetables.

Our Founding Members

  • Hayley Adams, MScN, Program Coordinator Nutrition & Wellness, KinderCare Education

  • Shibani Baluja, Founder & CEO, lil’gourmets

  • Darlena Birch, MBA, RDN, Senior Public Health Nutritionist, National WIC Association

  • Jennifer Chow, Co-Founder, Nurture Life

  • Heidi DiEugenio, Founding Board Member, The Doctor Yum Project

  • Leigh Ann Edwards Hall, MPH, RDN, Managing Director of Cooking Matters Campaign, Share our Strength

  • Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, Founder and Director, The Doctor Yum Project, Owner of Yum Pediatrics

  • Betsy Fore, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Tiny Organics

  • Kendall Glynn MS, CGC, Co-Founder, COO, Square Baby

  • Becky Graham, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, lil’gourmets

  • Rachael Janas, RD, LDN, Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs Manager and Registered Dietician, Nurture Life

  • Bonnie Johnson, MS, RDN, Director of Healthcare Professional Outreach, Good Feeding

  • Jodi Kuhn, Director of Nutrition & Wellness, KinderCare Education

  • Rupa Mahadevan, MD, FAAP, ABOIM Assistant Professor of Medicine at LSU/Ochsner Health System Feist Weiller Cancer Center /Director of Culinary Medicine Integrative Medicine Physician

  • Carolyn O’Hare, COO, Tiny Organics

  • Donna A. Pomerson, Senior Director Operational Compliance, Learning Care Group

  • Bettina Elias Siegel, Author, Kid Food

  • Saskia Sorrosa, Founder & CEO, Fresh Bellies

  • Nicole Spain, MS, LDN, RDN, Registered Dietician Nutritionist, Learning Care Group

  • Katie Thomson, MS, RD, Co-Founder & CEO, Square Baby

Our Newest Members

  • Dr. Caree Cotwright, PhD, RDN, LD, Assistant Professor, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia

  • Carrie Dooyema, MPH, MSN, RN, Team Lead, Early Care and Education Team, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Kofi Essel, MD, MPH, FAAP, Community Pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Director of GW Culinary Medicine Program, Clinical Public Health Summit on Obesity and Community/Urban Health Scholarly Concentration at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

  • Stephanie K. Goodwin, PhD, MPH, RD, Senior Manager, Government & Industry Affairs at Danone

  • Diane Harris, PhD, MPH, CHES, Senior Health Scientist and Team Lead, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • MaryKate O'Boyle, Senior Manager, Mission/Social Impact, Happy Family Organics

Our Partners

  • Logo for Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) partner KinderCare Education.

    KinderCare Education

  • Logo for Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) partner Learning Care Group.

    Learning Care Group

  • Tiny Organics Logo

    Tiny Organics

  • Fresh Bellies Logo

    Fresh Bellies

  • Nurture Life Logo

    Nurture Life

  • Lil' Gourmets Logo


  • Good Feeding Logo

    Good Feeding

  • Square Baby logo

    Square Baby

  • Dr. Yum Project logo

    Dr. Yum Project

  • National WIC Association logo

    National WIC Association

  • Cooking Matters logo

    Cooking Matters

  • Happy Family Organics logo

    Happy Family Organics

  • Yumi Logo


Our Resources

  • Resource

    Yes, Kids CAN Learn to Love Veggies!

    A review of evidence to support why young eaters need veggies ‘early and often.’

    Child in high chair
  • Resource

    Patient Infographic for Medical Professionals (English & Spanish)

    A resource for medical professionals who are committed to working with families and caregivers to raise a generation of veggies lovers.

    An infographic for medical professionals who are committed to helping families and caregivers raise a generation of veggie lovers.
  • Resource

    Veggies Early & Often Resource List for Early Childhood Educators

    A resource for child care centers that provides easy steps to develop an organizational commitment to ‘veggies early & often’ during and outside of mealtime.

    A list of resources for ECE's