Other panel members:
- Scott Owens, vice president of sales and marketing for Paramount Citrus Association, Delano, Calif.;
- Wendy McManus, director of marketing for the National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla.; and
- Dawn Ciccone, senior director of consumer products for Public Broadcasting Service Ventures, Arlington, Va.
Owens of Paramount Citrus said his company is trying to get children involved and interested in produce with its Retail, Internet, sports and Education program.
At the retail level, the company reaches out to children with in-store programs, contests and demos. Internet activities and resources are also a draw for kids and moms, he said, with recipes, coloring sheets and games.
The company sponsors football, baseball, soccer and basketball teams by providing citrus as snacks during game breaks, and educates children about produce with local agriculture events at schools.
Ciccone said PBS is launching an on-air and online health initiative this summer, geared toward getting children out of the house and active. She said 80% of PBS Kids signature shows feature episodes about health, physical fitness or nutrition, and 75% of the shows’ online properties feature health and fitness-oriented activities.
“It’s about role-modeling good behavior,” Ciccone said.
McManus said the Mango Board’s mascot, Jango Mango, has been a hit online. Jango has Facebook and MySpace pages, and also is promoting a contest on the video-sharing Web site YouTube.
The study also showed that parents may be missing an opportunity to add more green vegetables to their meals. While children voted broccoli as one of their top three favorite vegetables, parents didn’t rank broccoli among the vegetables they buy the most.
(Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier contributed to this article)