San Francisco-area Boys & Girls Clubs teamed up with Coca-Cola and the WellPoint Foundation to show local children that healthy eating is not only important, but can be tasty and fun, too. In honor of National Fruit and Vegetable Month, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) hosted its first-ever Fruit & Veggie Fest on June 27.
More than 200 BGCA youth traveled to Treasure Island for a fun-filled day with three-time Olympic track and field champion and gold medalist Gail Devers. The children learned about the importance of healthy eating through sampling kid-friendly fruit and vegetable dishes prepared by some of San Francisco’s most popular food trucks. They also had the opportunity to participate in the Veggie Zone, an interactive area where they could create their own healthy snacks from farm fresh ingredients; squeeze tomatoes and mix vegetables to create flavorful salsa; and compete in a veggie-themed obstacle course.
“Finding new ways to help kids learn about eating healthy and the variety of tasty fruits and vegetables available is essential for promoting healthy lifestyles,” Devers said. “I am extremely excited to be here today to taste flavorful foods, teach kids the value of eating right and demonstrate how positive food choices can benefit their health.“
The Fruit & Veggie Fest supports the BGCA’s Triple Play program, which has engaged kids nationwide for almost a decade to reinforce healthy lifestyles through three focus areas – Mind (healthy eating), Body (physical activity) and Soul (healthy relationships).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports obesity rates in children and teens have nearly tripled since the early 1980s, and about one-third of adults are considered obese today. Through Triple Play, BGCA, the WellPoint Foundation and Coca-Cola are working together to help kids and families learn about active lifestyles and good nutrition to improve their health and avoid lifelong health issues.
“It is challenging for kids to make healthy decisions if their environments do not offer or celebrate healthy foods and choices. With more than three out of 10 kids categorized as overweight or obese, it is critical that we educate and provide the tools necessary for youth to make the right choices,” said Wayne B. Moss, senior director, Healthy Lifestyles, BGCA. “Kids participating in this first Fruit & Veggie Fest will get elbow-deep in flavorful bell peppers and pineapple in the Veggie Zone, and have an amazing time while eating their fruits & veggies in America’s ‘culinary capital’!”
“Making fruit and vegetable choices fun and simple for kids is an important part of teaching healthy habits that last a lifetime,” said Erika Von Heiland Strader, director, community marketing, Coca-Cola. “Through Triple Play, we are working together with BGCA to make an active and healthy lifestyle easier for kids, their parents and Clubs around the country.”
Throughout the day, the children also voted for their favorite
food truck dish. The winning recipe – veggie tacos from Tres Taco truck – will
be shared with thousands of clubs to be cooked as part of the Triple Play
Healthy Habits programming for kids throughout the country.
For more information about Triple Play or to view the rest of the Fruit & Veggie Fest recipes, visit www.bgca.org/tripleplay.
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