Nestle USA debuts nutrition education toolkit

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — Nestle USA is introducing “Balance your plate with Nestle,” a campaign the company says will help consumers develop nutritious, convenient meals. The program is centered on frozen entrees, a market where Nestle has a strong presence, but will encourage the consumption of more fruits and vegetables.

Consumers may use menu models included in Nestle’s Balance Your Plate toolkit and find suggestions on how to add to each frozen entree with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy products to create a balanced meal. Each daily meal plan included in the Balance Your Plate system meets energy and nutrient goals for a standard 2,000-calorie diet, based on recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The program also provides suggestions to reach 1,800 and 1,500 calorie diets.

The Balance Your Plate program is the result of consumer insights developed by Nestle USA. For example, a survey by the company revealed that consumers only supplement one-third of their frozen meal eating occasions with other foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains or dairy. In addition, 77% of frozen food consumers said they believe the entrees represent a balanced meal providing several food groups.

“A key benefit of the Balance Your Plate program is that it promotes greater nutrient density with every meal,” said Chavanne Hanson, a registered dietician who works with Nestle USA. “Our aim is to show the public how easy it can be to add more fresh fruits and vegetables into their daily diet.”

Ms. Hanson added that new products such as Nestle’s Lean Cuisine Salad Additions, which was introduced in this past January, were created to increase the consumption of 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 the Nestle Prepared Foods Co. “We believe that a resource like Balance Your Plate gives Americans what they want – easy steps for managing portions and calorie intake that still include their favorite foods.”
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