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jackie haven

Kids' State Dinner Celebrates Good Nutrition with MyPlate

On July 9th, budding young chefs gathered at the White House for the Let's Move! Kids’ State Dinner, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, to celebrate their culinary accomplishments in the Epicurious “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge”Let’s Move!, Epicurious, the U.S. Department of Education, and USDA collaborated on the challenge and honored the 54 finalists who created the winning recipes at last week’s celebration. Contestants were challenged to come up with healthy recipes using USDA’s MyPlate food icon for inspiration.  The winning recipes reflected the appealing symbol, with healthy amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.

I was honored to be USDA’s advisor and a judge for this year’s competition, and attend the Kids’ State Dinner with the winners. Here, at the USDA, we are proud to see this national example of how MyPlate is helping children make healthy choices when preparing and consuming food.  Events such as this encourage other children to adopt good eating patterns and pursue healthy lifestyles.

USDA 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum: Nutrition and Health Sessions

In “The Role of Nutrition Programs in Agriculture: From Tractor to Table,” USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has organized a session at this years Agricultural Outlook Forum addressing how the increase in consumer participation in the nutrition assistance programs has expanded FNS’ role not only among families but also in the marketplace.  This session will explore the existing and new opportunities that now exist for food distributors, manufactures, retailers, and consumers.  Speakers include: Cathleen Enright, Vice President Federal Government Affairs, Western Growers Association;  Scott Faber, Vice President, Federal Affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association; Jim Weill, President, Food Research and Action Center.  Julie Paradis, Administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, will moderate the session.