Green Giant Aims to help Americans 'Get Their Greens'

February 15, 2005 08:30 AM US Central Timezone


MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 15, 2005--

  Revised Dietary Guidelines Call for Increased Vegetable Consumption; New Report Finds 70 Percent of Parents Not Eating Enough Veggies  


In response to the sixth edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans released on Jan. 12 by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, Green Giant(R) is launching a Web-based initiative today, called "Mix-Up Dinner: Get Your Greens!" to help families increase their daily vegetable intake.

The new Dietary Guidelines recommend that the average adult eat 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups (five to 13 servings) of fruits and vegetables each day, an increase from the previously recommended 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups (five to nine servings). Yet, according to the Green Giant Vegetable Report, 70 percent of parents and more than three-quarters of moms say they don't get enough vegetables in their diets.

"To help increase vegetable consumption, parents may want to rethink the way they plan dinner," says Juli Hermanson, registered dietitian and senior nutrition scientist at General Mills. "For instance, try incorporating different vegetables into a favorite recipe for variety and added nutritional value, such as frozen vegetables. They are convenient and just as nutritious as fresh, can be prepared in five minutes or less and are easy to incorporate into many dishes. Simple changes like this can help families achieve the daily servings of vegetables needed for better health," she says.

The Green Giant Vegetable Report, based on a Harris Interactive survey of parents with children 18 and under, also found that parents were confused about what made up a serving size and how many servings young children need daily. More than half didn't know that one serving of cooked vegetables was 1/2 cup, and nearly a quarter said they had no idea of the recommended number of servings of vegetables for a young child (age 2-6).

"Our survey recorded eating habits before the new Guidelines were released," says Andy Dahlen, marketing manager for Green Giant. "So with the increased recommendations, it's even more important to educate parents and encourage them to get more vegetables into their diet, as they are an important influence on their children's eating habits and can help form life-long healthy food patterns."

Green Giant Launches "Get Your Greens!"

With the "Mix-Up Dinner: Get Your Greens!" initiative, families are encouraged to take part in activities at www.GreenGiant.com and commit to consume more vegetables on a daily basis. Specific features at the Web site to help families reach this goal include:

-- Veggie IQ Quiz - Visitors can test their vegetable knowledge about serving sizes and health benefits in a short, interactive quiz. As an incentive, a Green Giant gift pack will be awarded each month through April to 25 randomly selected individuals who complete the quiz. The pack will include a vintage-style Green Giant T-shirt, recipes and tips.

-- Get Your Greens! Family Meal Commitment - Visitors will be invited to sign the Get Your Greens! Family Meal Commitment, which offers families the opportunity to promise to get their daily vegetables together and commit to make a change for at least one week. It also includes an attractive printable checklist that families can post on their refrigerator to help track their daily vegetable goals for one week.

-- Mix-Up Dinner Recipes - These balanced meal ideas span five nights and offer a variety of fun and delicious ways for families to easily get some of their daily "greens" servings. Recipes include an "Italian Feast" of Mushroom and Vegetable Lasagna and a "Mexican Celebration" of Chicken-Filled Tortillas.

Green Giant offers a variety of delicious and convenient choices to help Americans meet their daily vegetable requirements. Late last year, seasoned vegetables joined the Green Giant line up of Green Giant Classic Frozen Vegetables, Green Giant Frozen Side Dishes and Green Giant Create a Meal! Meal Starters.

Most Green Giant frozen vegetables carry an on-pack nutrition claim, "Frozen Vegetables Are As Nutritious As Fresh!" Beginning this month, Green Giant will feature specific nutrient benefits in the upper right corner of each package to help consumers better understand the nutritional offerings of each Green Giant variety. The brand is also reducing the sodium content in some of its products, including popular Broccoli and Cheese.

Health Benefits of Going Green

Health benefits of eating more vegetables and fruits include:

-- Increased fruit and vegetable intake is associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

-- Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

-- Green Giant frozen vegetable varieties that are low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol include: Cauliflower and Cheese, Baby Vegetable Medley, Broccoli Spears, and Herb Seasoned Garden Vegetable.

-- Fruits and vegetables may also be a useful component of programs designed to achieve and sustain weight loss. In fact, according to a new survey of dietary behavior commissioned by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), four in five weight-conscious Americans turn to salads, vegetables and fruits when trying to shed a few pounds.

For more information and easy ideas to incorporate vegetables into meals, visit www.GreenGiant.com.

Green Giant started out in Le Sueur, Minnesota as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company in 1903, when some 11,750 cases of white cream-style corn were sold in the company's first year. For the past 100 years, the Giant's Valley is where the freshest and greatest-tasting vegetables are grown and picked at the peak of perfection. The wide range of Green Giant frozen vegetable varieties include bagged and boxed classic frozen vegetables, frozen side dishes and Create a Meal! Meal Starter.

Contacts
Green Giant
Heidi Geller, 763-764-5836
heidi.geller@genmills.com
or
Burson-Marsteller
Katie Frommelt, 312-596-3526
katie_frommelt@chi.bm.com

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