NUTRITIOUS MEALS: Campaign offers tips and tools for eating healthily.
Nestlé has launched a new nutrition education campaign in the United States to help consumers achieve a healthy, balanced diet more easily.
The company’s ‘Balance Your Plate’ initiative provides health professionals with resources to use in their work with consumers, with a focus on providing tips and tools for creating nutritious meals by adding fresh ingredients to frozen, prepared foods.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage consumers to enjoy the foods they love while eating more fruit and vegetables.
“Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle requires commitment, but it doesn’t need to feel like a chore,” said Frank Higgins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Prepared Foods Company in the US.
“Frozen meals can be just as nutritious as homemade ones. They can also help reduce food waste by providing fixed portions, so people don’t prepare more than they need.
“We believe a resource like ‘Balance Your Plate’ offers Americans what they want: easy steps for managing portions and calorie intake that still include their favourite foods.”
According to the National Eating Trends database from market research company the NPD Group, US consumers only come close to meeting the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) on an average of seven days a year.
Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate campaign provides a free, downloadable toolkit for health professionals, which includes daily meal plans that meet energy and nutrient goals for a standard 2,000-calorie diet, based on the DGA recommendations.
It also offers model menus consumers can use to create a balanced meal by complementing a portioned frozen meal with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
Nestlé USA has partnered with leading market research company Harris Interactive to conduct a nationwide survey of consumers’ current consumption patterns and knowledge of the DGA.
The online poll of more than 2,000 adults revealed US consumers only supplement frozen, ready-made meals with other foods such as fruits, vegetables, or whole grains on one in three occasions.
“More than two thirds of people surveyed who ate frozen foods believed they represented a balanced meal,” Mr Higgins continued.
“While many frozen meals do feature components from several food groups, the amounts vary and may not always provide full servings.
“A key benefit of the Balance Your Plate programme is that it promotes greater nutrient density with every meal,” he added. “Our aim is to show people how easy it can be to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.”
In the United States in 2010 Nestlé announced a comprehensive plan to decrease the sodium content of many of its frozen products by another 10% by 2015.
The company is a member of the US Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a coalition of more than 100 private and public organisations that have committed to help reduce obesity by 2015.
Nestlé supports a variety of health and wellness campaigns in the country, including a joint programme to combat child obesity in the state of Michigan and an initiative in the city of Newark that teaches parents of young children the fundamentals of good nutrition.
Worldwide, Nestlé continuously works to optimise the nutritional profile of its products by reducing public health sensitive nutrients such as trans-fatty acids and sodium and by including more nutrients such as whole grains and calcium.
As part of its commitment to consumer education, seven years ago Nestlé became the first company to introduce a ‘nutritional compass’ on its packaging.
The nutritional compass, which is present on 97% of Nestlé products worldwide, provides consumers with relevant, easy-to-understand nutrition information, empowering them to make informed decisions about the food they eat.
Nestlé and nutrition
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