Although 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend adults eating 3 cups of vegetables and 2.5 cups of fruit daily, less than 10% of Americans do this. Within community based interventions, altering fruit intake is easier than vegetable intake. Fruits generally require less preparation and are eaten throughout day, whereas vegetables are more commonly eaten for dinner in the U.S. and often require cooking.
In Totally Veggies, participants are encouraged to use vegetable dishes to control weight and(add) improve their health using portion recommendations found in MyPlate, the food guidance model issued by USDA. If parents model these behaviors for children, the weight control principles and increased vegetable intake can transfer to their children.
Totally Veggies is a four lesson series curriculum with behavior changes measured by a pre- and post-survey of vegetable intake. Specifically, increased vegetable intake, wider vegetable choice, home vegetable recipe preparation and greater acceptance by family members are emphasized and can also be measured. It also encourages use of farmer's markets and community supported agriculture shares as sources of these vegetables.
The Totally Veggies curriculum includes:
- Four lessons with power point slides and notes pages
- Instructor Guide
- Handouts to support each lesson
- Four-lesson curriculum evaluation
- Lesson #1 evaluation (this can be a stand alone lesson)
- Meal diaries
- Family dynamics worksheets
The program objectives are to:
- Inform participants of the health benefits of the target vegetables
- Teach participants how to prepare the target vegetables for cooking
- Encourage family team formation to gain acceptance of more vegetables by children and adults
- Increase the frequency of serving the target vegetables at shared family meals
- Encourage the use of low energy density vegetable dishes and portion control to help control weight
- Encourage use of farmer's markets and community supported agriculture shares as sources of these vegetables
- Health benefits of vegetables
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Orange and red vegetables
- Cruciferous and root vegetables
This program addresses the childhood obesity initiative. Participants are encouraged to use vegetable dishes to control weight and to monitor portions using MyPlate.
Totally Veggies was adapted from a research based curriculum developed at Penn State University by J. Lynne Brown and Tionni Wenrich, Vegetable Supper Club. Totally Veggies, as Vegetable Supper Club are community-based, wellness programs target food preparers and their families to broaden the variety of vegetables at family meals.
- Fran Alloway, MA, RD, LDN
- Dori Campbell, MS, RD, LDN
- Mary Ehret, MS, RD, LDN
Fran, Dori and Mary are county Extension Educators with Penn State Extension. In addition to Totally Veggies, they teach Dining with Diabetes, ServSafe, and other food related health classes. Mary and Fran supervise EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs. Totally Veggies was presented in two parts as a national NEAFCS webinar.
Totally Veggies Resource Guide
Order or view a sample of the Totally Veggies Resource Guide.
The Totally Veggies Curriculum costs $50, plus $3 shipping and handling, and can be ordered with the Totally Veggies Curriculum Order Form .
Why Choose Fruits And Vegetables?
Totally Veggies targets under-consumed essential nutrients, Vitamins A, C and K, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Fruits and vegetables supply our bodies with many of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals needed to keep our bodies growing and healing.
These nutrients are important and can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent some types of cancer, and may help avoid vision loss and help you maintain a healthy weight.
MyPlate is a food guidance model created by USDA to prompt consumers to think differently about their food choices. ChooseMyPlate.gov contains a wealth of resources based on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help individuals meet nutrient and calorie needs and make positive eating choices.
All fresh produce, whether bought in the grocery store, the farmer's market, or picked from your garden, should be washed thoroughly before eating. Harmful bacteria that may be in the soil or water where produce grows may come in contact with the fruits and vegetables and contaminate them.