It’s June. We are off to a delicious beginning to the summer. And we are celebrating Fresh Fruits & Veggies! June is Fresh Fruits and Veggies Month!
The Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP) is an initiative brought on by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) created to directly combat childhood obesity. The program has been wildly successful across the country. Schoolchildren in the U.S. have been able to sample a variety of fruits and vegetables in their schools with the purpose of helping to educate and inform children and their families about eating healthy, the variety of fruits and veggies available, the great tastes everyone can enjoy, even if they think they don’t like their greens.
The Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) and a variety of state agencies have created this program for both public and private schools and through the dedicated work of school administration, staff, and parents of the FFVP has been able to make quality recommendations to provide better and healthier snack choices throughout schools and lunch programs.
Thrive! Is encouraging the meetings and events industry to embrace this program and even to extend it to our industry. We have an opportunity to help our attendees make healthful choices about their intake while ensuring an enjoyable experience.
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- Let’s implement more fruits and vegetables in our menus – giving them center-stage, rather than including them as sides and in answer to the mandate for a well-rounded meal.
- Use the ugly fruits and vegetables to ensure more sustainable, low-waste kitchen practices.
- Embrace local farms and vendors in your supply chain. This can keep the carbon footprint low as well as give our attendees a local experience. Go as far as to list the local farm on the menu or in signage around the food display.
- When you can’t source local, remember there are plenty of other ways to keep the focus on fruits and veggies. Source ethical, fair trade foods, especially bananas, coffee, and cocoa – these are the most prevalent and available fair trade foods. Don’t forget to think about natural and organic sourcing as well.
Fruits and vegetables month doesn’t just have to be for kids. Plus, building awareness around the many incredible, beautiful, and impressive fruits and vegetables grown in our own backyard and around the world is a great way to improve the economy, improve our diets, improve the attendee experience, and participate in an important awareness campaign!