fruit-924937_1280 update

September is Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month

Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month highlights the benefits of eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. Encouraging your community members to eat more fruits and veggies—and doing your part to make them easier to access—can make a difference when it comes to the health of your community.

SOPHE has created this toolkit to help you bring awareness to Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month among community members, leaders, and professionals.  For more information about this National Health Observance, please visit the Produce For Better Health Foundation.


Get Started

This Grab and Go Packet will help you get started promoting Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month. In it you will find:

  • Sample messaging (p. 2)
  • Talking points making the case for fruits & veggies (p. 3)
  • Sample content for newsletter, list serv, or blog (p. 4)
  • Sample news release (p. 5)
  • Sample tweets (p. 6)
  • Sample Facebook posts (p. 7)
  • 7 Tips to get more fruits & veggies in your day (p. 9)
  • Additional resources (p. 10)

 


Take Action

There are many ways you can promote Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month.

  • Use this toolkit to conduct outreach in your community.
  • Show people how to eat healthy by eating more fruits and veggies via newsletters, website, blog, or social media profiles.
  • Work with local schools, workplaces, and grocery stores to promote fruits and veggies. For example:
    • Collaborate with neighborhood or faith-based organizations that produce events promoting health eating—use local media and other channels to help spread the word.
    • Partner with grocery stores to promote fruits and veggies—hold cooking demonstrations, offer samples, or provide coupons.
    • Work with schools to offer different fruits and veggies each week for students to sample.
    • Help organize mobile markets or a grocery store shuttle program.
  • Reach out directly to community members. For example:
    • Host a neighborhood walk to assess availability to fruit and veggies—invite the local media channels.
    • Poll people in your community about whether or not they have easy access to affordable fruits and veggies and release the results to the media, policymakers, and local partners.
    • Ask local business and school officials to assess and report back about fruit and vegetable options in vending machines, snack bars, and cafeterias.
    • Show families that by making small changes, like keeping fresh fruit or carrot sticks within easy reach, leads to heathy eating.
    • Host a community event where families can try different fresh foods while learning about healthy food resources.

Sample Messaging for Specific Audiences

The information provided in this packet is intended to reach community members, leaders, and partners. Additionally, you may want to consider providing extra outreach to the following groups using the suggested ideas provided below.

Local leaders and partners

Generate support from local leaders and partners in advance of Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month. Ask them to promote the month with you. Look for overlapping missions with local government departments, faith-based organizations, and nonprofit groups. Ask them to help spread your message by supporting healthy eating initiatives in the community.

Local stores and farmers markets

Ask local markets and farmers markets to offer discounts on fruits and veggies or hand out coupons in support of Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month. Addressing affordability is key, as cost is a barrier for many people who would otherwise shop at local and farmers markets.

Worksites

Worksites can do a lot to promote Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month among employees. Work with companies to offer fruit or veggies as snacks, advertise farmers markets near the company, or collect produce-based recipes from employees to share in a newsletter. Host a brown-bag seminar for employees and invite a nutritionist to discuss easy ways to get the recommended daily servings of vegetables and fruits.

Educators

Contact schools to see if there are ways you can collaborate. School/district administrators can send announcements and information home to parents, and teachers can include education about fruits and veggies for kids in their lesson plans or connect with local school gardens.

Kids/Youth

How to Sell Kids on Vegetables – School nutrition marketing efforts that included television segments and vinyl banners produced a 239.2% increase in the number of students who took vegetables during lunch, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Researchers considered the effects of several marketing strategies in 10 elementary schools. Read more via NY Times Well Blog


Talking Points: Making the Case for Fruits and Veggies

When communicating with community members, leaders, and partners, it’s important to be ready to talk about the issues. Here are some talking points to get you started. Remember to look for opportunities to tailor them to specific concerns in your community. 

Why eat more fruits and veggies?

  • To stay strong and active. Healthy foods like fruits and veggies have the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs.[1]
  • To lower your health risks. Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies can help you lower your risk for chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • To manage your weight. Eating healthy and getting physically activity can help you stay at a healthy weight. [2]
  • To set a positive example. If you have children, how you eat can impact their food choices for years to come.[3] Set them up for success!

The Facts

Most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and veggies.

  • Fewer than 1 in 4 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day.
  • Fewer than 1 in 7 eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day.[4]

The Good News

  • Communities, organizations, health professionals, businesses, and families can work together to share tips on how to eat healthy and how to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Tailor Messages to Your Target Audiences

When communicating with community members, focus on:

  • How eating fruits and veggies doesn’t have to be expensive—there are many affordable options. Check out the 7 tips to get more fruits and vegetables in to your day.
  • How easy it is to include more fruits and veggies in your diet—for example, buying ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables (like apples and bananas) or adding chopped veggies to a pasta sauce
  • The health benefits of eating more fruits and veggies—like lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease

When communicating about the benefits of eating more fruits and veggies with community leaders and partners focus on:

  • How improving access to produce can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • The positive impact good nutrition can have on long-term health care costs
  • The role we can all play in making it easier to eat more fruits and veggies where people live, learn, work, and play

Sample Announcement for Newsletter, Listserv, or Blog

 September is Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month

Join [Organization] to celebrate Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month and promote the benefits of eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits & Veggies — More Matters® Month highlights the importance of healthy eating – a diet rich in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Adding more fruits and veggies to your diet doesn’t have to be expensive — there are many low-cost (or not cost!) alternatives. Add chopped vegetables to pasta sauce, eat kale – cooked or uncooked, or replace your afternoon snack with a piece of fruit. And simple changes can really pay off — eating healthy can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases — like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Fruits and veggies are also delicious! This is a great time to try a new recipe that features produce — or to bring home a fruit or vegetable that your family hasn’t tried before for fun. Remember, good habits start early — especially with kids. Encourage them to eat lots of fruits and veggies to help them develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

To get started, check out these activities offered by [Organization]<insert link to community activity listing>. Together we can help build a healthy future for our community!

For more information, contact [insert contact information].


Sample News Release

 

For Immediate Release – September 1, 2017                            Contact:
Thirty ways to add more fruits and vegetables to foods you enjoy – like tacos, burgers & pizza

Healthy eating is not just about what you eat, but also how you eat

[CITY/STATE] – Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that our bodies need to stay healthy. Eating more fruits and vegetables adds nutrients to diets, and reduces the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86 percent of our nation’s healthcare costs.

Most people don’t eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables each day but eating fruits and vegetables is a sound investment in long-term health, and can be a very inexpensive part of a healthy lifestyle.

NAME of organization is distributing an infographic listing 30 ways to add fruits and vegetables to the foods people enjoy – like tacos, burgers and pizza.

Fruits and vegetables provide great taste and nutrition, while adding variety to your diet. Most people don’t eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables each day, but eating fruits and vegetables is a sound investment in long-term health, and can be a very inexpensive part of a healthy lifestyle. Adding more to our diet is easy when we remember to add fruits and vegetables to the foods we already eat. Join the millions of people committed to a healthier lifestyle during September, Fruits and Vegetables More Matters® Month.

”Every step taken toward eating more fruits and vegetables and getting more physical activity helps everyone feel their best. Studies show that people who develop healthy food habits are more likely to avoid illness, have more energy and lead active, enjoyable lives,” said [spokesperson/organization/title].

To prevent chronic disease and encourage a healthy lifestyle, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014 funded a national partnership in 2014 of leading organizations working to improve the public’s health at the community level. Five national partners—the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, American Planning Association, Directors of Health Promotion and Education, National WIC Association, and the Society for Public Health Education—are implementing this three-year program in 100 communities across the country in 37 states.

 

“It’s about empowering people and communities. We want to help communities, families and individuals overcome the barriers to good health.” said [spokesperson]. “It’s about making healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play.”

###

 

Infographic available: Download “justveggin”
Follow #Partnering4Health and #justveggin

Organization boilerplate


Using Twitter for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month

Remember to check the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month website each year for details about the month, including the hashtag people are using to promote it.

In addition to the sample tweets below, create tweets to show how your organization promotes health topics related to Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month. Tailor tweets to the specific audience you’re trying to reach. Consider including local resources and tweeting about events in your area. 

Pro tip: When appropriate, include images in tweets and other social media posts. Try taking photos of nutrition-related events in your community (remember you may need releases to post them!). You can also visit CDC’s Community Health Media Center to find infographics, ads, and other resources that can help increase engagement.

 

Sample Tweets 

  • Are you wondering how you can eat healthy on a budget? Take a look at these tips and tricks #Partnering4Health http://bit.ly/2w7lnUq
  • Could someone you love use help making healthy food choices? Start a conversation: usa.gov/X30mSU #Partnering4Health
  • Celebrate Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month by trying a new veggie recipe today! http://bit.ly/23Ce96m #Partnering4Health
  • Parents, teach kids about fruits & veggies with games & activities from @Fruits_Veggies: http://bit.ly/1Ysiju0 #Partnering4Health
  • There are lots of ways to eat a variety of fruits & veggies. Try to always have a colorful plate #Partnering4Health http://bit.ly/2v57dXg
  • Get the tips from @MyPlate to eat more veggies: http://1.usa.gov/1N76xVl #Partnering4Health
  • #DYK eating healthy can help prevent type 2 #diabetes? Get info from @healthfinder: http://1.usa.gov/17Ky9Ji #Partnering4Health
  • Try buying fruits & veggies in a variety of colors. #TipoftheDay #Partnering4Health
  • Get some ideas from @MyPlate to try new veggies: http://1.usa.gov/1UaVcXe #Partnering4Health
  • Here’s top 10 reasons to eat more fruits & veggies from @Fruits_Veggies: http://bit.ly/22ssEar #Partnering4Health

 

Sample Tweets for Reaching Community Leaders and Partners

  • Making the case for a healthy diet w/ lots of fruits & veggies: Start w/ #health benefits: http://1.usa.gov/1Q5gdKG #Partnering4Health
  • #Partnering4Health is celebrating Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month. RT to help spread the word about eating healthy!
  • Use the #DietaryGuidelines to help your community develop #HealthyEating patterns: http://bit.ly/dga-2015 #Partnering4Health
  • #Partnering4Health: working to help ppl eat more fruits & veggies? Add your program to @Fruits_Veggies’s directory: http://bit.ly/1S4KfAk #Partnering4Health

Using Facebook for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month

Remember to check the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month website each year for details about the month.

In addition to the sample posts below, create posts that highlight how your organization is working to improve access to fruits and veggies. Tailor posts to the specific audience you’re trying to reach. Consider including local resources and posting about events in your area.

Pro tip: Once you paste a URL into a post, Facebook automatically creates a linked image with a description. Once that happens, you can delete the original link from the text of your post. This will make your posts look more professional.

Sample Facebook Posts for Reaching Community Members

  • Celebrate Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month by trying a new, healthy recipe today. Be sure to choose one that’s loaded with produce! #Partnering4Health

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/recipes-cookbooks-and-menus

  • One way to eat healthy on a budget is to buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen produce is a healthy option. Find out more ways to eat health on a budget here: http://bit.ly/2w7lnUq #Partnering4Health
  • Trying to eat more fruits and veggies? It’s helpful to know what counts as a serving size! Check out this infographic from the American Heart Association to learn about serving sizes for fruits and veggies. #Partnering4Health

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Fruit-and-Vegetable-Serving-Sizes-Infographic_UCM_468564_SubHomePage.jsp

  • Fruits and veggies taste great when they’re in season. Frozen foods are often picked in season and can taste great too, but it’s tricky to keep track of what’s in season. Fortunately, the folks at Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® have you covered. Learn what fruits and vegetables are in season! #Partnering4Health

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/what-fruits-and-vegetables-are-in-season

  • SuperTracker is an online tool you can use to make a personalized nutrition and physical activity plan. This Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month, use SuperTracker to set and track goals around eating more fruits and veggies. #Partnering4Health

https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/

 

Sample Facebook Posts for Reaching Community Leaders and Partners

  • What are you doing to celebrate Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month? Tell us about events or other efforts happening in your community! #Partnering4Health
  • Be a local leader: Ask your local grocery stores and supermarkets to feature fruits and vegetables throughout Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month by offering coupons or discounts on produce. You can also help inspire people to cook with a new fruit or vegetable — try creating recipe cards and display them with featured fruits or veggies. #Partnering4Health
  • Calling all health care professionals! This Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month, take the opportunity to talk with people in your community about healthy eating — including eating more fruits and veggies. Use these conversation starters from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans team to get talking today. #Partnering4Health
    http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/DGA_Conversation-Starters.pdf

7 tips to get more fruits & veggies in your life 

  1. Try a new veggie recipe — try the recipe with a new vegetable.
  2. Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the entire family can see it.
  3. Cut up fruits and veggies to grab and eat on the go.
  4. Try pre-cut packages of fruit and veggies for a healthy snack in seconds. Choose packaged fruits that don’t have added sugars.
  5. Sauté veggies with olive oil and add your favorite spices. Dunk them in your favorite dressing, hummus or low-fat dip.
  6. Throw baby carrots or grapes into a bag and take them with you for an easy snack on the go. The tiny versions of most vegetables actually tend to be sweeter and have more flavor in each bite.
  7. Whether it’s strawberry-banana, green tea and blueberry, or a fruit and veggie mix, smoothies are an easy way to drink up your fruit and veggie servings.

Download the flyer

Additional Resources

Fruits & Veggies—More Matters®

The team from Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® have lots of resources to help you show people how to eat more fruits and vegetables — both in September and every month of the year. Get information about fruits and veggies and learn about events happening across the country to promote America’s fruit and vegetable intake.

 

How to Plan a National Health Observance

The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion developed a guide to help you plan a successful Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month event. Use these tips to help you plan, promote, and implement a great event.

 

Healthy Eating Resources

For more practical information on healthy eating visit:

 

Super Tracker: Food and Activity Tracker

https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/

 

Eat Healthy from healthfinder.gov

Check out a variety of resources on eating healthy — including quick tips, questions for the doctor, shopping lists, conversation starters, and more.

The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is designed to help public health professionals support Americans in achieving healthier eating patterns — including eating more fruits and vegetables. Read the latest version of the DGA.

 

SuperTracker Nutrition and Fitness Tool

SuperTracker helps users plan, analyze, and track nutrition and physical activity. Learn more about SuperTracker.

 

Images of fruits and veggies

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0db1w3xtxygcd8s/AACksJjpc3yZbVPKk2uTudmpa?dl=0

 

7 Tips to fit more fruits & vegetables in to your day

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0db1w3xtxygcd8s/AACksJjpc3yZbVPKk2uTudmpa?dl=0

 

Eat healthy

https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/everyday-healthy-living/nutrition/eat-healthy

 

Watch your weight

https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/everyday-healthy-living/nutrition/watch-your-weight

 

Tips for Preventing Food Hassles

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Tips-for-Preventing-Food-Hassles.aspx

 

September Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month Toolkit

https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/SeptemberToolkit2.aspx

 

Recipes

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/quick_healthy_vegetable_recipes

 

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/quick_vegetable_side_dish_recipes

 

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_roasted_vegetable_recipes

 

Infographic:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/go1333jnrf65i8q/AACM8gq-YzGpf1cazd5ny0Xfa?dl=0

 

Vegetable and fruit images:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cil49cdbjo8e1rq/AADak3gpeLaG9ru460a7emAna?dl=0

 

Partnering4Health flyer, poster, newsletter article:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1wpqq4p7tzyiqfm/Flyer%20newsletter%20article%20poster.pdf?dl=0

 

Partnering4Health social media images:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hdljx10p7mn3rs7/AAAJRPn57UmvGiDuIJcCprg7a?dl=0

 

[1] https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/everyday-healthy-living/nutrition/eat-healthy

2 https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/everyday-healthy-living/nutrition/watch-your-weight

3 https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Tips-for-Preventing-Food-Hassles.aspx

4 https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/SeptemberToolkit2.aspx