The Alliance for a Healthier Generation (“The Alliance”) was founded as a response to the growing rate of childhood obesity. To combat this epidemic and to help make the healthy choice the easy choice, the Alliance created the Healthy Schools Program in 2006, launched in 231 schools in 13 states. The Healthy Schools Program has since grown to become the nation’s most extensive effort to prevent childhood obesity in schools and is now building healthier school environments for more than 17 million students in more than 29,000 schools in every state and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
By Jill Turley, MS, RD/LD and Joshua Moore of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Produce is packed full of the nutrients youth need to learn and play, whether at school, in an out-of-school time program, or at home. Children should be exposed to a variety of fruits and vegetables to help ensure these products are what come to mind when reaching for a snack.
Innovations in the produce industry can help with just that! The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, in collaboration with the United Fresh Produce Association, has identified several kid-friendly, single-serve, fresh produce snacks that meet USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards and offer easy, delicious snack options for schools or out-of-school time programs.
Here’s a taste of several delicious products to check out:
- North Bay Produce: Blueberry Snack Pack. These single-serve, pre-packaged blueberries are great for a school vending machine, an a la carte line or a student store.
- Peterson Farms: Fresh Cut Apples. These convenient 2 oz. snack bags are perfect for a grab-and-go snack before, during or after school.
- Fresh Fruit Cuts: Woot Froot. This product line offers grapes, fresh-cut peaches, pears and nectarines.
- Grimmway Farms: Carrot snacks. Convenient on-the-go varieties of carrot sticks and baby carrots.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is adding innovative fruit and veggie products to our soon-to-be released Smart Foods Planner. The Smart Foods Planner is a new and improved version of our popular Product Navigator, with enhanced product search functionality and information and sample menus and recipes. In addition, look for more information on trainings, hot topics and breaking news throughout the tool, as well as direct links to the very useful Smart Snacks Calculator.
Look for the Smart Foods Planner late this spring; it will be available on the homepage of www.healthiergeneration.org.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, works to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. They work with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to build healthier environments for millions of children. For more information on our initiatives, visit www.healthiergeneration.org today!
March is National Nutrition Month. Throughout the month, USDA will be highlighting results of our efforts to improve access to safe, healthy food for all Americans and supporting the health of our next generation.