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The Healthy Family Meals Newsletter, Issue #122 Farmer Market Vouchers
June 04, 2009

Welcome! Learn How to Combine Healthy Recipes with Family Adventure!

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Kindy's Musings....

As your family dietitian, I will be scoping out the most relevant research and news that you can use to help your family make healthy nutrition and wellness choices.


Farmers' Market Vouchers Boost Produce Consumption Among WIC Participants

A recent study in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that participants in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) consume more fruits and vegetables when they shop at farmers' markets rather than grocery stores, the New York Times reports.

To evaluate the efficacy of produce subsidies, University of California-Los Angeles researchers followed 602 local WIC participants for one year. During the first six months, women in the intervention group received $10 in weekly vouchers to purchase produce from a nearby farmers' market or supermarket, while those in the control group received coupons for non-food purchases in exchange for information about their eating habits.

The researchers report that participants in the intervention group increased their fruit and vegetable consumption and sustained the increase six months after the coupons were suspended. Specifically, when compared with control group participants, women shopping at farmers' markets ate an additional 1.4 servings of produce per 1,000 kilocalories (kcal) and those shopping at supermarkets ate an additional 0.8 servings per 1,000 kcal.

Although it was unclear why mothers shopping at farmers' markets bought the most produce, some women reported finding fresher, higher quality produce at farmers markets. Others said they enjoyed the community experience and opportunity to interact directly with growers.

The Times suggests that, while the findings reinforce the positive impact of produce subsidies on fruit and vegetable consumption, they also indicate that vouchers provided by the WIC program may not offer enough support to boost produce consumption.

New guidelines took effect in February while the WIC program will offer monthly produce vouchers of $10 for breastfeeding mothers, $8 for all other mothers and $6 for each child per month, compared with $10 a week provided during this study.

The researchers, meanwhile, point out that the findings indicate that WIC participants value fresh fruits and vegetables and suggest that increasing their accessibility will increase participants' consumption.

Read the latest food trends and happenings with the links below:





Beef Casserole

This all-in-one meat, vegetable, and starch dish is hearty, delicious, and well received.


1 pound lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can cut green beans

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can undiluted tomato soup cooking spray

2 cups prepared mashed potatoes (do not make mashed potatoes too thin). Instant potatoes can be used.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and the onions until the onions are tender. Add the green beans and tomato soup.

Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with the cooking spray. Pour the meat mixture into the casserole dish and cover it with spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes. Bake the casserole for approximately 15 minutes or until it is bubbly.

Makes 6 servings

Source: Your family will love these sample recipes from Quick Meal Solutions. And for more of Nissenberg’s family-friendly suggestions, visit

What will your family do for healthier MEALTIMES?

Celebrating Healthy Families 2009

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Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Kindy --Your Family Dietitian

Copyright (c) 2009,

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