Substituting a fruit or vegetable for another type of snack food could increase fruit and vegetable consumption and help reduce childhood obesity. The Produce for Better Health Foundation reports that most mothers are aware that their families do not consume enough fruits and vegetables and are interested in new ways to incorporate these foods into their children's diets.
As the USDA rightly reminds us, fresh produce is a healthy snack option. We know this and consumers know this, but somehow the trigger isn't being pulled. It seems there is a need for bigger marketing bucks, a preposterous commitment to cultivate more healthy-minded snacking behavior by consumers.
It is great that the public health community has the back of the industry. But I feel produce marketers need to do more to validate the choice of fresh to consumers. This USDA ERS research paper tell us something all of us know is true - now the industry must go tell it on the mountain.
It will take more convincing - ideally funded with assessment dollars from a generic fresh produce promotion order - for snackers to put away the wavy Lays and open up the bag of baby carrots.