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Chef Art Smith, Moms and Schools Partner to Teach Kids to Love Their Veggies

Celebrity Chef to Help Moms Become Veggie Champions

Nationwide School Grant Program Begins Its Third Year; Over $600,000

Awarded Already

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Art Smith, author and chef, is looking for a few good moms -- those devoted to getting their kids and their communities to love eating vegetables. Chef Smith and the makers of Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings will host a Love Your Veggies(TM) retreat for winners of the "Search for Veggie Champions Contest," which begins today. The goal is to help moms everywhere raise veggie-loving kids.

For a chance to win a spot at Chef Smith's retreat moms must complete a simple application at Ten winners will enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Chicago from April 28 to April 29 for two days of fun and educational workshops, field trips, cooking demonstrations and tastings with some of America's most notable food, gardening and nutrition experts. To ensure a little pampering along the way, winners will receive accommodations for three nights, a spa visit and dinner at Chef Smith's own Table Fifty-Two restaurant. Each retreat winner will also receive $5,000 to start or improve a vegetable garden in her hometown. The winner must designate a non-profit organization to which the $5,000 prize money will be awarded and with whom the community garden will be planted or improved.

Chef Smith designed the retreat to cover topics that educate moms on how to introduce and involve kids in a healthy eating experience, including vegetable education, gardening, meal planning and shopping, and cooking. The information taught at the retreat will be made available for all parents on

"It's not enough to simply tell a child to eat her broccoli because it's good for her and expect her to comply," said Chef Smith, founder of the non-profit organization Common Threads, which teaches children the importance of fresh ingredients and how to connect with their bodies, their neighbors, and their world in a healthy way. "It's also not the best idea to attempt to hide veggies in a recipe's ingredients, so kids don't realize what they're eating. Other than the obvious health benefits, vegetables can be some of the most fun and delicious foods your children will ever eat. The best thing you can do is help you kids learn about vegetables so they grow an appreciation and love for them. By making veggie eating educational and fun and involving them in the process, kids will make healthy choices."

Chef Smith's "Search for Veggie Champions Contest" and retreat are part of a larger campaign called Love Your Veggies(TM), created by the makers of Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings. With 96 percent of children 2 to 12 years of age falling short of the recommended 2-5 cups of daily fruit and vegetables(1), the campaign was created in part to help parents close this gap and get kids eating and enjoying more vegetables.

Love Your Veggies(TM) Helps at Home, at School and in the Community

"We were further inspired to create the Love Your Veggies(TM) campaign after seeing the findings of a 2006 study conducted by the University of California Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program that found that children consumed 23 percent more vegetables when paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing," said Kristin Wonzen, marketing manager for Hidden Valley(R). "For years, parents have used our salad dressing as a secret weapon to increase their children's vegetable consumption at home. And now, we're helping outside the home."

Along with offering parents the tools to help children love their vegetables at home, the makers of Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings have also committed to making a difference at school. According to the USDA, millions of students nationwide consume a meal at school daily and, for many children, school lunch is the most important meal of the day, contributing one-third to one-half of their nutritional intake. The makers of Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings saw an opportunity to make a direct impact on students in the lunchroom by contributing to that most important meal of the day with the creation of the Love Your Veggies(TM) school grant program, an initiative that works to support increased access to and consumption of fresh produce during school meals.

This year the grant program will award $15,000 nutrition grants to 10 elementary schools nationwide that demonstrate creativity and innovation in their proposed vegetable programs, as well as a financial need. The school grant program, offered in partnership with the School Nutrition Foundation and with support from Produce for Better Health Foundation, was originally established to help schools fund a fresh produce program in the lunchroom following the 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act which required school districts to adopt local school wellness policies to strengthen nutrition and exercise programs(2). Now in its third consecutive year, the Love Your Veggies(TM) school grant program is more relevant than ever in the face of rising food costs and school budget cuts, and has awarded more than $600,000 to 57 elementary schools nationwide. Schools interested in applying this year for a Love Your Veggies(TM) school grant can complete a simple online application at The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. EST on Nov. 7, 2008.

To learn more about the Love Your Veggies(TM) campaign and to find kid-friendly recipes, activities and nutrition tips, or the "Search for Veggie Champions Contest" and official rules visit For more information about Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings, visit

(1) The 2005 State of Plate report from Produce for Better Health

Foundation and ACNielsen.

(2) Congress passed the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of

2004, which requires that by the first day of the 2006 school year,

each school district participating in the National School Lunch

Program adopt local school wellness policies with the goal of

improving children's health and reducing childhood obesity by

expanding the availability of nutritious meals and snacks to more

children in schools while also promoting increased activity. Policies

should encourage consumption of healthy foods, including fresh fruits

and vegetables.

About Hidden Valley(R)

The HV Food Products Company is a subsidiary of The Clorox Company, headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Clorox is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2008 revenues of $5.3 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Green Works(TM) natural cleaners, Armor All(R) and STP(R) auto-care products, Fresh Step(R) and Scoop Away(R) cat litter, Kingsford(R) charcoal, Hidden Valley(R) and K C Masterpiece(R) dressings and sauces, Brita(R) water-filtration systems, Glad(R) bags, wraps and containers, and Burt's Bees(R) natural personal care products. With 8,300 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $73.9 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2008 alone, the foundation awarded $4.2 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $10.2 million. For more information about Clorox, visit

About the School Nutrition Foundation

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) empowers professional growth through the education, research, and scholarship it provides School Nutrition Association (SNA) members Along with SNA, the Foundation's number one priority is helping school nutrition professionals run successful and effective school nutrition programs and comply with USDA regulations. The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children's health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

About Produce for Better Health Foundation

Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit consumer foundation whose purpose is to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. We partner with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry to expand the Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters(R) health initiative which is the largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative in the U.S.

SOURCE Love Your Veggies(TM) campaign
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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