Produce for Better Health Foundation Teams Up With FMI Foundation For September Promotions
BRENTWOOD, MO - There are endless reasons why consumers should eat fruits and vegetables, and if I do say so myself, our industry friends are experts in communicating that message. One such industry champion is the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), this year extending the reach of its National Fruits and Veggies Month (NFVM) theme, Have A Plant® Nation, through a partnership with FMI Foundation. The September celebration will be supplemented by FMI’s National Family Meals Month™ to celebrate and elevate each corresponding year-long movement. This year’s celebration presents a unique opportunity to broadly promote new research findings that reinforce the importance of family meals in a pandemic-challenged America.
“We have always been an advocate for the Family Meals Movement and in 2019, PBH won a FMI Foundation Gold Plate Award in recognition of our exemplary work as a leading community partner,” says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President and CEO of PBH. “We are thrilled to be teaming up again with the FMI Foundation, especially given the dynamic nature of shoppers’ purchasing and eating behaviors during this uncertain time. We believe in the strength of our organizations collaborating to inform and inspire consumers with the health and well-being benefits of eating and enjoying more fruits and veggies as part of a family meal at least one-to-two times per week. This simple habit can significantly and positively impact our collective goal of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption—ultimately improving Americans’ health and happiness.”
A comprehensive study, recently published in The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB), clearly demonstrates the value of family meals. Specifically, the study showed that more frequent family meals were associated with better dietary outcomes—namely increased fruit and vegetable consumption—as well as improved family functioning outcomes.
Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness, and problem-solving. The key take-away: family meals build strong and lasting habits that can improve both health and well-being.
“This JNEB study builds on years of previous research studies and demonstrates the extraordinary value of family meals,” said David Fikes, Executive Director of the FMI Foundation. “In light of the conclusion that family meals lead to more produce consumption, there couldn’t be a better time to highlight this news than National Fruit and Veggies Month—especially since it also happens to be National Family Meals Month!”
Together, PBH and the FMI Foundation will kick-off their partnership during a free webinar hosted on PBH’s Health and Wellness Webinar Platform on Tuesday, August 11th at 2:00 p.m. ET. Specifically, the webinar will address how all stakeholders can effectively help Americans eat and enjoy more fruit-and veggie-packed family meals to support, encourage, and inspire them to stay strong. To access the webinar, register here.
Given the recent global pandemic, family meals have changed quite a bit. People are eating more meals at home and more meals as a family, according to a press release. But questions remain as to how the dynamic “family” has changed; how behavior has changed in terms of what constitutes a meal from grocery store to family table; and how Americans are dealing with meal fatigue, and how families can find new ways to create easy, healthful meal experiences to move past the fatigue.
“Consumers continue to adapt during the pandemic, and families have the potential to emerge with new skills and habits that could lead to healthier eating patterns and overall well-being,” said Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, Director of Health and Well-being at FMI—The Food Industry Association.
In addition to the webinar, PBH and the FMI Foundation will be developing shared resources for the industry, such as infographics, as well as other communications tools to arm marketers and consumer-facing influencers with messaging about the importance of family meals and their critical connection to increasing produce consumption. Additional tactics include shared content development, coordinated influencer engagement, and consumer-facing media outreach.
“We whole-heartedly embrace this moment in September to inspire people to create new habits that will turn into long-term, sustained behavior change,” says Reinhardt Kapsak. “We believe that eating more fruits and vegetables is the single most important thing people can do for happier, healthier lives, and if sharing them together with others helps Americans eat more, we will continue to extend this message far and wide.”
Thank you to all of our influential industry champions who continue to drive fruits and veggies into the hands of consumers.