Dole Food Company, in partnership with midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee Food Stores, will help provide healthier lunch options for students in Iowa by donating five salad bars to public school cafeterias.
The addition of these salad bars will help address American obesity by making healthier, more nutritious food available to students and exposing them to these options from a young age. Marty Ordman, Dole’s Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, says that “research has shown that it can take at least 10 exposures to a new food before it is accepted by children." These sort of changes provide that exposure.
The Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative is a brainchild of First Lady Michelle Obama. Dole is a partner in the program and is working to increase the number of salad bars in schools across the country. According to Ordman, "salad bars can increase exposure to new fruits and vegetables and create a sense of ownership for students through the selection process." He says that past efforts indicate that "students are trying – and liking – almost everything that is being offered to them.”
Studies show that unhealthy options at schools and the ease with which they can be accessed has contributed to the rise of obesity, and this initiative uses reverse logic to try to combat the problem.
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