OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents and chefs often reach for ranch dressing or dips to help kids eat more vegetables. Now the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings & dips are reaching out to parents and chefs across the country to join them as partners in supporting efforts to encourage healthy eating, including increased vegetable consumption, for kids and families through the Lunch Break for Kids fundraiser. Joining as the official spokesperson is noted author, restaurateur and Food Network star Jamie Deen.
The salad dressing maker is partnering with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) for a second year to host Lunch Break for Kids fundraisers nationwide – from October 15-19 2012 – with approximately 75 chefs creating and serving delicious and nutritious lunches to support kids' nutrition education programs by way of the ACF's Chef & Child Foundation.
Joining Deen in supporting this cause are chefs from across the country, including Susan Feniger (STREET, Los Angeles), Michael Kornick (mk, Chicago) and Stephan Pyles (Stephan Pyles, Dallas), who will design and sell delicious, healthy lunches with the proceeds going to create resources for nutrition education programs in schools and community centers, and encourage families to eat healthier meals. The effort coincides with the ACF's celebration of National Childhood Nutrition Day on October 16.
"Coming from a long family tradition of moments shared preparing and enjoying simple and tasty meals, I know and appreciate how much that time can mean for a family," said Jamie Deen, star of the Food Network's Home for Dinner. "When cooking for my family, I focus on good, simple food with flavors – like ranch – that the entire family can enjoy. The kids will learn that food can be good and good for you and parents can stop fighting about eating vegetables and engage with their families about values, like a love of good food."
In addition to the money raised through Lunch Break for Kids, the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings & dips will donate $150,000 to ACF's Chef & Child Foundation to underwrite the fundraiser and create nutrition-based educational resources to help chefs promote proper nutrition to kids and families. Over the past six years, the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings & dips have donated more than $1 million to nutrition education programs.
"Chefs make the perfect partners because we both believe that preparing nutritious and delicious food is the best way to engage families in healthy eating," said Jon Balousek, general manager for Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings. "Plus, we believe mealtime provides opportunities for families to come together for memorable and meaningful moments, including lessons about how to eat healthy."
Hidden Valley® is involved in this effort as their products play an important role in the effort to better childhood nutrition. Findings from the following studies inspired the development of the program:
- A study found children tend to consume more vegetables when paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing.(1) Another study suggested that consuming a moderate amount of fat with vegetables/salads may be beneficial to the body's ability to adequately absorb fat-soluble nutrients(2)
- A recommended one-week school lunch menu released by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service showed the changes that could be made after the passing of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act 2010, including vegetables and low-fat ranch dressing on four of five days(3)
- Kids who ate meals regularly with their family were 24 percent more likely to eat healthy, compared with peers who seldom ate with relatives(4)
The ACF is the largest professional chef organization in North America with more than 20,000 members who belong to more than 200 chapters across the United States. The ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation designed to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs, and pastry chefs.
The purpose of the American Culinary Federation'sChef & Child Foundationis to foster, promote, encourage and stimulate an awareness of proper nutrition in preschool and elementary school children, as well as combat childhood obesity. The foundation funds programs which give instruction on nutrition and proper eating habits to children.
"The Chef & Child Foundation is excited to team up with Hidden Valley for the Lunch Break for Kids fundraiser. This partnership will provide our chefs with an opportunity to raise funds in conjunction with outreach activities they host for National Childhood Nutrition Day, October 16," said ACF National President Michael Ty, CEC, AAC. "Our continued partnership with Hidden Valley has allowed us to expand the mission of the Chef & Child Foundation by helping us raise awareness and funds to educate children and families in understanding proper nutrition."
For more information on the Lunch Break for Kids program, including details about the chefs involved and recipes featured in the lunches, visit www.lunchbreakforkids.com. Join the Lunch Break for Kids discussion on Twitter at #LunchBreakForKids.
About Hidden Valley®
The HV Food Products Company is a subsidiary of The Clorox Company, headquartered in Oakland, Calif. The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with 8,400 employees and fiscal year 2012 revenues of $5.5 billion. Clorox markets some of the most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Clorox Healthcare™, HealthLink®, Aplicare® and Dispatch® products, Green Works® naturally derived home care products, Pine-Sol® cleaners, Poett® home care products, Fresh Step® cat litter, Glad® bags, wraps and containers, Kingsford® charcoal, Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings and sauces, Brita® water-filtration products, and Burt's Bees® and gud™ natural personal care products. Nearly 90 percent of the company's brands hold the No. 1 or No. 2 market share positions in their categories. The company's products are manufactured in more than two dozen countries and marketed 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 $87 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal year 2012 alone, the foundation awarded $3.5 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $15 million. For more information about Clorox, visit TheCloroxCompany.com.
About the American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 20,000 members spanning more than 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef® and Certified Sous Chef™ designations the only culinary credentials accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org. Find ACF on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ACFChefs and on Twitter @ACFChefs.
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On behalf of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch®
(1) 2006 study of two Northern California elementary schools conducted by the University of California Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Butte County Cooperative Extension.
(2) Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004): 396-403.
(4) Pediatrics, May 2, 2011
SOURCE Hidden Valley